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119http://www.beth-israel.org/blog/2012/11/Rabbi-Lyon%27s-Blog---11_02_2012
Rabbi Lyon's Blog - 11_02_2012
11/01/2012 07:00 AM Posted by:

From the Desk of Rabbi David Lyon
November 2, 2012

 

Our agendas are filling up with things to do, people to help, and causes to serve. Hurricane Sandy is the latest cause that needs our attention. Please give to local east coast organizations where help is needed. Support social service agencies that generously give food, clothing, shelter and counseling help. Use the Internet to identify Jewish and other helping institutions in the areas affected by the super-storm and give what you can. Typically, the URJ sends word about how to donate, but all their resources in NYC are unavailable due to the storm.

                There is one agenda item that never falls off our to-do list. It is Israel. With our attention focused on Israel’s needs especially during an election year, we are never without an opinion, a question, and something to do for the Jewish state. Our congregation has stepped up to address Israel on many levels. From the pulpit, we have given sermons on the safety and security of Israel, as well as the social and religious aspects of Israel. Many opinions exist, but K’lal Yisrael, the whole community of Israel standing together equally, is our wish and our goal.

                Beth Israel’s Miriam Brown Jewish Learning Center and Israel Advocacy Committee have teamed up to present three informative and engaging programs on Israel. We have organized and led sessions on “Why Israel Matters,” “Seven Dates to Know about Israel” and “How to Advocate for Israel”.

                Beth Israel’s Adult Education Committee also participates with 92nd Street Y presentations on Israel. Magnificent popular leaders and intellects have helped us grow in our understanding of and affection for Israel. Coming November 29th, Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks of England, will be our next speaker and teacher. Don’t miss it at 7:00pm sharp, in Wolf-Toomim Hall at Beth Israel.

                Days earlier, our Israel Advocacy Committee welcomes you to be personally with Dr. Tal Becker, on Monday night, November 26th, at 7pm in the Gordon Chapel. Dr. Tal Becker served as senior policy advisor to Israel’s minister of foreign affairs from 2006 to2009, and was a lead negotiator during Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that took place under the auspices of the Annapolis peace process. In his capacity, he also played a central role in managing Israel’s relations with the United States, EU, UN, and various Arab states. Representing Israel in a wide variety of bilateral and multilateral negotiations, he has also served as director of the International Law Department at the Israeli Foreign Ministry, as counsel to Israel’s UN Mission in New York and as an international law expert in the Military Advocate General’s Corps of the IDF. In 2003, he was elected vice chairman of the UN General Assembly’s Legal Committee, the first Israeli to serve in a UN post of this stature in more than forty years. Dr. Becker’s recent book, Terrorism and the State: Rethinking The Rules of State Responsibility, is the recipient of the 2007 Guggenheim Prize for Best International Law book.

                We can’t take our eyes off Israel and our hearts are never without prayers for Israel’s ultimate and permanent peace. Until such a day, we must invest ourselves in learning and advocating for Israel. Join us on November 26th to hear Dr. Becker, and on November 29th, to learn with Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

                From my family to yours, Shabbat Shalom.

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