Upcoming, Current and Previous Events
Don’t miss Jeremy Ben-Ami at Temple Sinai
Thursday, March 20, 7:30 - 9:00 pm, Albers Chapel
Who speaks for American Jews on Israel?
How can we safeguard Israel's survival as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people?
Decide for yourself!
Temple Sinai is honored to host a spirited dialogue between Jeremy Ben-Ami, Founder and President of J Street, and Dr. Marc Dollinger, Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility at San Francisco State University. Their remarks will be followed by a Q-and-A session with the audience, refreshments and further conversation. This program is presented by Temple Sinai and Congregation Beth El of Berkeley.
Founded by Jeremy Ben-Ami in 2008, J Street now claims more than 177,000 online supporters, 5,000 active students, and 650 National Rabbinic Cabinet Leaders, including Sinai’s own Rabbi Chester. Since J Street's founding it has been at the center of conversation in the American Jewish community. There are those who believe J Street represents the majority of American Jews while others believe it represents a small fringe. J Street’s supporters maintain it is staunchly pro-Israel but critics accuse it of threatening Israel's security.
J Street's website asserts:
“J Street is the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans fighting for the future of Israel as the democratic homeland of the Jewish people. We believe that Israel's Jewish and democratic character depend on a two-state solution, resulting in a Palestinian state living alongside Israel in peace and security. Rooted in our commitment to Jewish and democratic values, J Street is redefining what it means to be pro-Israel in America…. And we are expanding support for Israel by affirming - along with many Israelis - that being pro-Israel doesn't require supporting every policy of its government." (For more background, see http://jstreet.org/about; and http://jstreet.org/page/mythsandfacts/home.)
Ben Ami has deep experience in American politics and government and a passionate commitment to the state of Israel. His family connection to Israel goes back 130 years to the first aliyah when his great-grandparents were among the first settlers in Petah Tikva. His grandparents were one of the founding families of Tel Aviv, and his father was an activist and leader in the Irgun. Ben-Ami's political resume includes serving as policy advisor in the Clinton White House and playing leading roles in national and local political campaigns in the U. S. While living in Israel, Ben-Ami consulted to Israeli non-profit organizations and politicians. He has been recognized by The Forward, the Jerusalem Post, and Ha’aretz. Ben-Ami received a law degree from New York University and is a graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Relations at Princeton University.
Leading historian Dr. Marc Dollinger will dialogue with Jeremy Ben-Ami and help place J Street within the context of American Jewish support for Israel. Dr. Dollinger is the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility at San Francisco State University. Dr. Dollinger earned his PHD in history at UCLA and did a Post Doctoral Fellowship at Bryn Mawr College. An expert on American Jewish history and the California Jewish experience, Dr. Dollinger's work explores Jewish ethnic and political life.
Join the thought-provoking conversation on Thursday, March 20th at 7:30.