Israel Engagement

Our congregation has a very special relationship with Israel. Many of our members have lived there, or have children who live there. Many others travel to Israel frequently, and know the country intimately.

At Reyim, two primary questions frame our special relationship with Israel:

  • How can we, as a community, continue to express our commitment to Israel in ways that are dynamic, meaningful and impactful?
  • How can we embrace the fullness and diversity of that commitment among our members?

We constantly strive to meet the challenges of these questions.

We have greatly expanded our Israel programming and learning opportunities. In the spring of 2016, we finished the two-year intensive study program called “Tzion” which focused on the history of Israel and Zionism. The program was founded by Rabbi David Starr.

We often invite speakers, journalists, civil rights activists and organizational leaders to speak to our community here at our shul and at the Rabbi’s home.

Our Recent Speakers and Topics

  • Tomer Sharoni, a Technical Group Leader in Israel's Prime Minister Office. Mr. Sharoni spoke about Israeli technological innovation and developing global relationships through technology.
  • George Deek, a diplomat with the International Law Department at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. An Arab-Christian Israeli, his family has lived in Jaffa for over 400 years. Mr. Deek was the manager of the "Arab-Jewish" debate forum of Israel's leading news website Ynet and served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassies of Israel in Nigeria (2009-2012) and Norway (2012-2015). Mr. Deek shared with us his inspiring perspectives on current affairs within Israeli society.
  • Iddo Haklai, Schusterman Scholar at Brandeis University. Mr. Haklai spoke about reframing classical Zionist concepts.
  • Aaron Fortus, Wexner Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School. Aaron served in the IDF Intelligence Corps and works in the Prime Minister’s Office. He spoke about Israeli and American Jewish community.
  • Eilon Schwartz, who was among the founders of the Heschel Center for Sustainability, an environmental NGO, and has been an entrepreneur and scholar on environmental issues in Israel. Eilon is now the Founding Director of Shaharit, a new "think-and-do tank" that seeks to transcend the polarized debate that has divided Israeli society and create new possibilities and surprising alliances. He discussed Shaharit, its vision and strategy for building an Israel inclusive of all Israelis.
  • Gili Rei, Israeli Peace and Social Justice Advocate, spoke about the foundational work of Shacharit.
  • Linda Gradstein, NPR Correspondent and Midde East Bureau Chief, the Media Line.
  • Dr. Yuval Ran, Wexner Israel Fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, spoke about serving as an orthopedic surgeon in the military.
  • Dr. Sigmund Kaharash, Attending Physician at MGH Peditatic Emergency Department and Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. Dr. Kharash spoke about the multi-ethnic fabric of patients, doctors and staff in hospitals, where peace and goodwill prevail.