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"Beth Elohim"

Commemorating 75 years of advancing prophetic Judaism, free of nationalism and politicization

Allan C. Brownfeld on

On the 75th anniversary of the American Council for Judaism, Allan C. Brownfeld writes about how the group has challenged the Zionist philosophy which holds that Israel is the “homeland” of all Jews. He explains how the group advanced the philosophy of Judaism as a religion of universal values, not a nationality, and has maintained that Americans of Jewish faith are American by nationality and Jews by religion — just as other Americans are Protestants, Catholics or Muslims.

Open Letter to Progressive Jews: The ADL and AJC are not our allies

Mondoweiss Editors on

In an open letter to progressive Jews, Jewish activists says this moment calls for a strong, broad, united front against the Trump administration’s agenda but there are groups within the Jewish community that progressives should not stand beside: “Specifically, we refer to the February 12 rallies in support of refugees in which Jewish social justice groups cosponsored the action with, among others, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC), two organizations that have toxic anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian policies.”

Liberal Zionists support Scarlett Johansson– and settlements. Why?

Philip Weiss on

Scarlett Johansson is getting some backup for her controversial decision to represent SodaStream, a product made in a Jewish colony in the occupied Palestinian territories. And not just from rightwinger Mike Huckabee. NY City Comptroller Scott Stringer, a liberal Democrat, came to her side last night: Proud of environmentalist/humanitarian Scarlett Johansson for standing strong against […]

Matalon, Bachman and other liberal Jews join Dershowitz in pressuring…. Abbas

Philip Weiss on

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas is to speak to the U.N. General Assembly today, and yesterday 100 prominent American Jews published a letter urging Abbas to stand up for the two-state solution and implicitly to renounce the Palestinian right of return and a Palestinian military. The signers includes liberals like Rabbi Roly Matalon of B’nai Jeshrun in […]

Exile and the prophetic: Our confession at Nelson Mandela’s funeral

Marc H. Ellis on

This post is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page. Reading about the singing of the national anthem(s) at the end of the Yom Kippur service at the Reform synagogue, B’nai Jeshoshua Beth Elohim, north of Chicago, I couldn’t help but wonder […]

Chicago synagogue culminates pinnacle Yom Kippur service with singing of Israeli anthem

Philip Weiss on

Earlier this year, a big Reform synagogue north of Chicago, B’nai Jeshoshua Beth Elohim, sent its annual delegation to the Washington conference of the Israel lobby, AIPAC. It looks like about 30 members of the congregation went– and almost all of them are over 40.  It turns out the nationalism extends beyond lobbying the Congress […]

Israeli ambassador Michael Oren gets hero’s welcome in liberal enclave of Brooklyn

Alex Kane on

Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren (center) poses with Rabbi Andy Bachman, on the right. (Photo: Alex Kane) Last night, Congregation Beth Elohim seemed to leave its grounded place in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn and zoomed its way into another universe. The universe of Michael Oren, that is–a place where Israel can […]

The true crisis of Zionism: silent majority of US Jews have never supported it

Allan C. Brownfeld on

This review of Peter Beinart’s book The Crisis of Zionism is to appear in the next issue of the journal of the American Council for Judaism. Author Allan Brownfeld allowed us to post it ahead of publication. There can be little doubt that the philosophy of Zionism—-Jewish nationalism—-is in retreat among American Jews.  Zionism holds […]

You won’t have Ethan Bronner to kick around anymore . . .

Adam Horowitz on

Jodi Rudoren is the next NYT bureau chief in Jerusalem. She replaces Ethan Bronner, who will cover national legal affairs in NY. — NYTimes World (@nytimesworld) February 14, 2012 Per the NYTimes World twitter account, Ethan Bronner is being re-assigned to cover national legal affairs from New York. The new bureau chief in Jerusalem will […]

Co-oping BDS, part I: Progressive except Palestine

K. Feldman on

Once, in the bulk goods aisle of the Park Slope Food Coop, a wild-haired woman stood next to me and scrutinized the coffee-grinder settings. “I’m using it for an enema,” she explained. “It needs to be very fine.” I suggested the espresso grind. This is exactly the kind of shopping experience I hoped for when […]

Can a liberal Zionist write about ‘Israel’s contemporary reality’ without mentioning ‘occupation,’ ‘checkpoints,’ ‘Jim Crow’ or ‘Gaza’?

Philip Weiss on

Rabbi Andy Bachman of Beth Elohim in Brooklyn can, in a post anticipating the Park Slope Food Coop’s vote on whether to stop selling Israeli hummus. Bachman describes Israel as a “remarkable achievement virtually unprecedented in human history and… therefore an incredible source of pride for Jews and others around the world” and continues:  Israel’s […]

3 Jews showed this video last night at NYU, challenging Zionism

Philip Weiss on

Three years ago a Palestinian friend sauntered down Broadway and said, I have only one goal in life, I want to end Zionism. I was shocked that a person would say something like that, I thought he must be a violent revolutionary. Well a lot has changed, and last night I went to an event […]

Khalidi addresses a Jewish ‘congregation’

Philip Weiss on

Last night I went to hear Rashid Khalidi speak at the Brooklyn Reform synagogue, Beth Elohim. A gorgeous temple, and before giving Khalidi the microphone at the altar, Rabbi Andy Bachman went down the list of groups that had sponsored…