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Summer 2010 Lay Leadership Retreat New Study Theme: ‘Engaging Israel: Jewish Values and the Dilemmas of Nationhood’

Questions for study include: How does Jewish sovereignty relate to the self-identity of Jews living throughout the world?
Rabbi Dr. Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi s a Jewish institutional leader, author, and sought-after public speaker. Currently, Rachel serves Ohavay Zion Synagogue and is a senior scholar of the Kaplan Center for Jewish Peoplehood. Most recently she served as Assistant Professor of Jewish Thought and Ethics at Hebrew Union College (HUC) and led a four-campus team to achieve strategic goals. Prior to her national role at HUC, Rachel served as Vice President of the Shalom Hartman

Since Operation Cast Lead, the subsequent Goldstone Report and recent foreign policy debates, there has been an increasing sense that anti-Israeli opinion has moved beyond criticism of some of Israel’s actions and policies to the delegitimization of the Zionist project as a whole. The Jewish community at large, since the creation of the State of Israel, has taken as self-evident the need to support Israel. Yet that support is now being questioned on many levels and among large segments of the community. The Jewish community is in urgent need of a new language and argument for assimilating the significance of Israel into the modern Jewish consciousness.

Click here for pricing information. Click here to register now.

Our upcoming summer 2010 study programs will focus on these urgent needs and the essential questions and challenges directed against Israel today and use them as a basis for developing a new response and language, based on Jewish ideas and values. Jewish leaders today need to be able to address crucial questions for which they currently do not know the answers. For example:

  • What is the role of "peoplehood" in modern Jewish identity?
  • In a world of intense individualism, can Judaism be defined primarily as a personal and internal experience, or is a sense of belonging to a Jewish collective central to giving meaning and purpose to contemporary Jewish life?
  • How does Jewish sovereignty relate to the self-identity of Jews living throughout the world?
  • How does Israel balance its legitimate right of self defense with the rights of others? How do we reconcile the Jewish claim to the land with those of the Palestinian people?
  • What are the requirements of morality of war, and how can Israel use its power in a way that is consistent with the highest standards of Jewish morality and values?
  • Can a Jewish state be reconciled with the values of Jewish pluralism and freedom?
  • What does the Jewish national project have to offer in responding to global challenges and advancing the value of Tikkun Olam?
The basic fee for the Summer Lay Leaders Retreat is $1,700. Participants in ongoing study programs receive an 18 percent discount. For more details on pricing, click here or send an email to Sharon Laufer, Administrative Director, North American programs.

In addition, the study program will include a multi-session track devoted to the study of seven great texts which have framed the identity of the Jewish people taught by senior faculty of the Hartman Institute, evening lectures by guest scholars and Israeli political figures, and excursions exploring the contemporary realities of the State of Israel.

Click here now for more information and to register for the Summer 2010 Lay Leadership Summer Retreat. Click here for hotel reservation information.

You care about Israel, peoplehood, and vibrant, ethical Jewish communities. We do too.

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