Tue, Jan 22, 2013
7:30 PM

Loving Israel Debating Israel

Atlanta Friends of the New Israel Fund (NIF) Present:

Loving Israel, Debating Israel

On January 22, Israelis will make their voices heard at the polls. 
Should we in America make our voices heard as well?  If so, how?

Tuesday, January 22, 7:30PM
Temple Sinai, 5645 Dupree Drive Northwest, Sandy Springs, GA

Join in a conversation with panelists:
Steve Berman, Kelly Cohen, Frida Ghitis and Rabbi Phil Kranz
Moderated by David Lewis

No charge.  No solicitations.  But space is limited.  Kindly RSVP below to guarantee your seat.

On January 22, Israelis will make their voices heard at their election polls.  In the run-up to the election, the debate about the serious and difficult issues confronting the country has been and will continue to be robust and contentious.  Here, in the American Jewish community (and in our own Atlanta community – as evidenced by the recent exclusion of Peter Beinart from a community event), the debate about Israel is becoming increasingly polarized, and at the same time increasingly constrained.

We invite you to join us for the first of what we hope will be
many open conversations dealing with questions such as:

What responsibility do Diaspora Jews have towards Israel, and what limitations – if any – should there be on our critique of the country’s policies?

How do Jewish values inform our approach to Israel?  Should Israel’s social justice challenges be important to us as American Jews?

How do these issues impact the American Jewish community’s relationship with Israel, and specifically, the younger generation of America Jewry?

How can we dialogue on these issues given the strong differences of opinion that exist,
and how we can come together under common cause–a love for Israel and concern for her future?

About our moderator:
David Lewis is an award-winning broadcast journalist, filmmaker and digital-storyteller, who has worked for the likes of CNN, 60 Minutes, ABC News, CNBC and Fox News.  He was in New York City on September 11th, 2001 and has since focused much of his professional life on the Middle East, traveling repeatedly to Israel, Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories.  Related projects have included: a film on Hezbollah for Frontline-World; two terrorism documentaries for CNN and a non-profit dialogue effort called “Comedy for Peace.”  David also has a daily AM-1690 radio segment – “Conversations with David Lewis” -- where the Middle East and terrorism are frequent subjects for inquiry.  David has lived in Atlanta since 1992 with his wife, Danica Kombol, and their three children where they are members of Congregation Bet Haverim.  He has been on the Steering Committee for the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival since 2007.

About our panelists:

Steve Berman is a long time Atlanta Jewish community leader.  He is co-founder of The Weber School and past president of Weber, the Greenfield Hebrew Academy and Jewish Vocational Service (now JFCS).  He also served as treasurer of the American Israel Chamber of Commerce Southeast.  Growing up, he was active in the Hadassah sponsored Zionist Youth movement, Young Judaea, and is on the founding board of the newly independent Young Judaea.  He and his wife, Gita, a Canadian Young Judaean, first met in Israel and they lived there for four years.  Steve and Gita’s three daughters followed in their parents’ activist Young Judaea and pro-Israel advocacy footsteps and their oldest, Mara, now lives with her husband in Tel Aviv.  Steve is the founder of the commercial real estate firm OA Development.  He has developed additional Israel connections through his professional life, working with Israeli investors in US properties.

Kelly Cohen earned a BA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University and a Masters in Jewish Education from Hebrew College.  She is also a graduate of the Pardes Educators Program with a certificate in Day School Education.  While living in Israel from 2007-2011, Kelly worked as a Senior Educator for Encounter, a program which takes current and future leaders to meet with Palestinians and helps to give them the tools to speak to one another across ideological and religious divides.  She also served as an Educational Consultant for JStreetU in Jerusalem, creating and facilitating conflict-related educational programs for American students of all ages living in Israel.  Currently, Kelly is taking maternity leave from her position teaching 3rd-5th grade Judaic Studies at The Davis Academy in Atlanta.

Frida Ghitis is a long-time journalist, currently a world affairs columnist and contributor to CNN.com, the Miami Herald/ McClatchy newspapers, and World Politics Review.  She has worked in more than 60 countries -- including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Kuwait, Iraq and, of course, Israel -- covering wars, revolutions, and countless history-making events.  She joined CNN during the early days of the network and worked in a variety of posts, from producer of the network's financial and economic news to field producer and correspondent covering major international breaking news.  She worked on coverage of the collapse of the Soviet Union, wars in Bosnia, Somalia, Iraq, Kuwait, Kosovo, etc., as well as Presidential summits and many other major events.  She has reported from Tibet, Burma, Cuba, the Amazon jungle, Haiti, and many other conflict areas, and her work has been published around the world.

Rabbi Philip N. Kranz served as Temple Sinai's Senior Rabbi from 1980 until his retirement in June of 2006 when he became Rabbi Emeritus.  He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and is a graduate of Ohio State University and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.  Prior to coming to Atlanta, Rabbi Kranz served as rabbi of the historic Chicago Sinai Congregation, and from 1965-1973 he served as a Chaplain in the United States Naval Reserve.  Rabbi Kranz has taught at University of Chicago Divinity School, Georgia State University, and Agnes Scott College.  Amongst his volunteer involvements, he served as President of Planned Parenthood of the Atlanta Area from 1985-1987, and was a member of Leadership Atlanta, Class of 1985.  He was honored as Clergyman of the Year by the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and received an Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from HUC.  Rabbi Kranz is co-author of the recent book, Creativity in Judaism.  He is married, with two daughters and three grandchildren.

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