Crankylibrarian had already answered the question at least twice, which is admittedly hard to see given the format of threads here:
"Our Israel Programming committee is not affiliated with any other organization with a similar name. It’s just a congregational committee tasked with planning programs on various aspects of Israel. It has no ties, repeat NO TIES with Hakafa or any other group. It was formed in response to complaints that JRC programs related to Israel were too one-sided, (interesting that this complaint came from members on both sides of the spectrum)."
"As I keep saying the Israel Programming committee is a JRC -only committee, not part of any larger organization. Its mission is to bring diverse programming about Israel to JRC. Period. No larger, or more subversive mission."
And now W.Jones has located and linked to an official description, though with highly selective excerpting, seemingly to fit a preconceived narrative about the committee being strictly "apolitical."
"[T]he Committee will use the sicha process that was established in 2010 at JRC for any
programming that includes political topics. " [BTW, I don't recall details of the sicha process.]
"The Committee’s plan is to ensure there is a broad spectrum of programs relating to
Israel, both culturally AND POLITICALLY" (emphasis added).
"They are working on getting speakers for a 'Conversations about Israel' series."
"“The Israel Programming Committee strives to foster an environment of openness, curiosity and respect for all points of view. We want JRC to be a safe place for members to respectfully express their opinions, no matter what their views on Israel may be."
"Our goal is to bring a richer understanding of Israel to JRC’s members through a
comprehensive schedule of speakers, events, trips and focused discussions designed
to illuminate the broad range of issues, points of views and complexities involving
the various populations that live in and claim historical heritage to the land of Israel."
"Understanding the passionate emotions that are inherent in any political conversation about Israel, we will strive to foster an environment of openness, curiosity, intellectual honesty, and above all respect for all parties and points of view."
"Over time, we hope JRC will benefit from being seen as a place where all points of view are examined and discussed with the intent of strengthening our community by promoting understanding."
Crossposted from the "Rabbi Brant Rosen Steps Down" page: babyloiuse, not only do you and I want very different things in a synagogue and rabbi but we have really, really different perceptions of how the congregation is reacting to the events surrounding Brant’s resignation. For what it’s worth, we’ve both belonged to JRC for about the same amount of time (me, 16 years). And I agree that the building could use some more softness and warmth, though the sunlight behind the bimah is spectacular.
I take issue with your attempts to speak for the congregation. Maybe I’ve done the same. Let’s qualify our statements and listen carefully to our fellow congregants to learn what the distribution of reactions really is.
My read is that the typical JRC member views political activism as integral to their Judaism for reasons articulated by Dan Solomon, i.e., Tikkun Olam. Justice, justice, you shall pursue – a sacred obligation of Judaism. The vocal few – wasn’t it the vocal few who sought to silence Brant? This is an empirical question and I’m sure we’ll learn more in coming days. Regarding religiosity, I think Reconstructionists run a pretty wide gamut and I’m not sure it’s accurate to call even atheist / agnostic Jews who choose to affiliate secular. Whatever. Again, my read is that most JRC members (or at least the median member) do(es) seek to embrace a political agenda – even if they don’t always agree with Brant 100%.
The heartbreak is that more “apolitical” congregations and rabbis are a dime a dozen, and now those who sought to silence Brant have screwed things up for the rest of us.
- See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/09/reconstruction-synagogue-israelpalestine.html/comment-page-1#comment-708479