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iEngage: Jewish Values and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Temple Beth El, Greater Springfield Hadassah and the Shalom Hartman Institute will present “Engaging Israel: Jewish Values and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” this fall. This course, a part of the Hartman Institute’s iEngage, explores one of the most divisive issues affecting the Jewish people today: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Through the study of Jewish narratives about Israel and the unpacking of the complex meanings of peace in Jewish tradition, participants are invited to explore the ideas and values that animate different attitudes toward the conflict and how these values shape their own political understandings. Though a shared political platform may not be attainable, this course strives to achieve a shared respect for our differences.

Students will engage in a new values-based discourse about Israel, including topics such as: Living with Difference, the Israel We Imagine, Jewish Narratives of Peace, Attitudes Towards the Land, Justice, Self-Preservation, Compromise, and the Idea of Jewish Exceptionalism.

Each session includes text study and discussion led by Rabbi Amy Katz and Sue Polansky, and video lecture and interviews with leading Hartman scholars. Polansky is currently the Zionist Affairs task force chair of Hadassah and has been studying with other Hadassah leaders to prepare for teaching the Hartman iEngage class.

Membership or associate membership (for men) in Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, is required to participate in the class. For more information about membership, visit

Classes will be held on Wednesdays, beginning Nov. 8, from 4-5:30 p.m., at JCS Lifecare, 770 Converse St., in Longmeadow. (12 weeks). Class dates are: Nov. 8, 15, 29, Dec. 6, 20, Jan. 3, 17, 31, Feb. 14, 28, March 14, and 21.

Tuition is $100 per student, plus the cost of Hadassah membership for any new or associate member ($36 annual membership; $250 life membership; $250 associate membership for men). For more details on becoming a Hadassah member, visit Registration for this class will be handled directly by Hadassah. Visit or contact Hadassah Northeast at (781) 455-9055 or

For more information, contact Lisa in the TBE office at (413) 733-4149. Space is limited; please note that there is a maximum of 20 students for this class.

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