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The Meaning and the Continuing Impact of Six Day War Will be Addressed in Four Conferences in North America in May

“Six Days That Shaped Fifty Years” programs in Toronto, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, run by the Shalom Hartman Institute aim to end polarization and build a productive, values-based discourse about a conflict whose impact still resonates today

As the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War approaches, the Shalom Hartman Institute is convening major conferences across North America designed to shift the conversation about that conflict from one of polarization and contention to a productive, values-based dialogue on the war’s legacy and its implications going forward.

The all-day events, each titled, “ Six Days That Shaped Fifty Years ,” will be held in Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, from May 17-24, 2017.

Topics to be Addressed

  • The meaning(s) of Jerusalem for the Jewish people.
  • The consequences of the war for Jewish attitudes toward land, power, or God’s role in history.
  • The consequences of the war for Jewish internal politics and the communal discourse.
  • The legacy of the war in Israeli and Jewish culture.

The goal of these conferences is to create a pluralistic atmosphere of serious and substantive learning on issues that continue to resonate 50 years after the war, and which still carry significant political ramifications for Israel, the world Jewish community, and the entire Middle East.

Scholars, activists, and educators from the Hartman Institute, as well as local Jewish, Christian, and Muslim leaders, will speak and direct workshops for Jewish change agents, rabbis, thought leaders, lay leaders, campus leaders – those most likely to be leading conversations in the public sphere and academic circles about the 1967 anniversary. Thousands are expected to attend these events, some of which will be livestreamed on the Hartman Institute website and other online locations.

The Thinking Behind these Programs

“The Six Day War was one of the signal events in modern Jewish history. It transformed the State of Israel, and its relationship with World Jewry and the entire world, forever,” said Yehuda Kurtzer, President of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. “Today, the current discourse surrounding Israel – and this is accelerating as the 50th anniversary is being celebrated, commemorated, and debated – is increasingly polarized and toxic. Our goal in these conferences is to explore, understand, and integrate the outcomes and legacies of 1967 into the way that we engage in dialogue with each other.”

Kurtzer said that these goals guided the Hartman Institute in crafting the programs, which will encompass diverse viewpoints from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim scholars, thinkers, and activists from Israel and North America.

“We want to enable and encourage, honest and open discussion about Israel from a place of knowledge, respect, and love, even as we acknowledge the deep divisions it has opened up among us,” he said. “We believe that such exchanges are the best and only way to chart a path toward a future which may contain answers to these ongoing disputes."

Schedule of “Six Days That Shaped Fifty Years” Events

  • May 17 – Toronto, Beth Torah Congregation. Key faculty: Shalom Hartman Institute President Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman and acclaimed author Yossi Klein Halevi
  • May 22 – San Francisco, San Francisco Jewish Community Center. Key faculty: Donniel Hartman and Dr. Tal Becker, longtime Israeli peace talks negotiator
  • May 22 – New York, Manhattan Jewish Community Center. Key faculty: Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer, President of Shalom Hartman Institute North America, Dr. Elana Stein Hain, and Yossi Klein Halevi
  • May 24 – Los Angeles, UCLA Hillel. Key faculty: Donniel Hartman and Tal Becker
  • Registration and additional information for all four conferences may be found here

The Conferences are Part of a Year-Long Hartman Project

These conferences, while they are major and important events by themselves, are only part of a year-long series of events, programs, and research that the Hartman Institute is undertaking in 2017. Since the beginning of the year, Hartman Institute programs across North America and in Israel have been focusing not only on the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, but also on the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, and the 70th anniversary of the November 1947 United Nations vote to partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.

Our exploration of these topics will continue during our annual summer programs, which draw hundreds of lay leaders and rabbis to the Hartman Institute campus in Jerusalem. The year’s efforts will culminate later in 2017 with the release of the fourth series of videos and teaching aids from the Institute’s iEngage Project, developer of the most widely used Israel education programs in North America today.

Get More Information About the "Six Days That Shaped Fifty Years" Series

Shalom Hartman Institute scholars, including President Donniel Hartman, North American President Yehuda Kurtzer, and Senior Fellow Yossi Klein Halevi, are available for media interviews, and radio and TV program appearances.

  • Op-Eds and other relevant material by these scholars and others will be created for select media organizations upon request.
  • Additional Shalom Hartman Institute research on the Six Day War and the other anniversary events of 2017 is available.
  • Select events from the programs will be available for livestreaming online. Media organizations are invited to request permission to simulcast these programs.
  • Media representatives are invited to attend these events without charge.
  • Media contact: Alan D. Abbey , Media Director, Shalom Hartman Institute

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