We connect KSS with the vibrant, dynamic, beautiful, complicated world of Israel and Israelis. Through culture and current events, we explore and engage with this important aspect of the Jewish world.
The Israel Connections and Jewish Affairs Committee was established in 2002. Our mission has been to develop a caring connection with the Israeli people and to educate our members about Israel and other matters affecting our lives as Jews.
In this, we are guided by the Torah: “Col Yisraelim Arevim Zeh B’zeh,” all Jews are responsible for one another.
Over the years we have provided interesting and diverse programming. A few examples:
We learned about Italy’s unheralded rescue of Italian Jews during the Holocaust
Congressman Steve Israel shared his views on Israel and the Middle East
Two Captains in the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) spoke to us about conflict and terrorism
The Program Director for the Inter Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues spoke about challenges facing Israeli Arabs
Discussion of interfaith marriage with visiting guests from Israel in order to acquaint them with an aspect of American Jewish life less familiar in Israel.
A letter writing campaign (140 personal letters!) to express concern for the people of Sderot who were experiencing relentless bombing.
In 2009, we were one of eight synagogues in the country to be awarded a substantial Legacy Heritage grant. This enabled us to embark on “Operation Sheba” (later renamed “Operation Linda” to honor the memory of our much beloved, Israel committee member, Linda Goodman, z’’l.) We hired an Israeli teacher to provide an after-school program for disadvantaged children at Jerusalem’s Brandt School, where most of the students were from Ethiopian families.
The entire Kehillath Shalom community participated in learning about Ethiopian Jewry, including two memorable Ethiopian-style dinners and a wonderful talk by Barbara Ribikove Gordon, Director of the North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry (NACOEJ). Our Religious School Director and our teacher in Israel worked together to develop joint projects for KSS and Brandt School children which included twice yearly Skype sessions.
A centerpiece of our educational program has been our six annual Forums, presented by KSS member Nissim Yeheskel. Find out more here.
We look forward to continuing our diverse and successful programming in the future.