Israel Study & Discussion Group

Since 2015 members and guests of Temple Beth El have been meeting to discuss issues pertaining to the State of Israel.  Under Rabbi Naomi's guidance, the group studied the history of diverse Zionist movements and documents critical to Israeli history.  For the past few years the group has focused on discussing current events as presented in articles from the Israeli and American press.  Currently TBEEarly Zionist pioneers
member Oren Nachson is sharing photos and reflections on his work as a photojournalist in Israel. The group is open to any TBE member interested in friendly discussion of the challenging issues facing Israel.

The first three years of the Israel Study & Discussion Group were devoted to a methodical examination of the history of Israel/Palestine, from the origins of Zionism, through the various aliyot and the founding of Israel, up to the present.  Readings from the following books helped to inform our discussions:

This group meets intermittently. Check the TBE Calendar for the date and time of the next Israel Study & Discussion Group meeting.

The resources on this page are presented to further understanding and stimulate discussion, and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Temple Beth El.

Israel Study & Discussion - Suggested Resources

The videos and articles below were suggested by K'lal Yisrael Committee Chair Oren Nachson. [Click on links to view videos or read articles]:

50 Years of Occupation - A Film Screening & Discussion Series

In 2017, Israel Study & Discussion Group members Rabbi Bob Rottenberg and David Boyd taught a class for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Humboldt State University called Fifty Years of Occupation: A Film Screening and Discussion Series

It has been more than 50 years since the 1967 war that allowed Israel to occupy the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank.  During this time numerous peace initiatives, including the very promising Oslo Accords, have failed to reach a final status agreement to bring peace to this troubled region.  This ongoing situation has brought violence and insecurity to Israel, and repression, injustice, and humiliation to Palestinians.

50 Years of Occupation: A Film Screening & Discussion Series used documentary films by Israeli and Palestinian filmmakers to go behind the headlines, beyond the many policy proposals and endless political posturing, to help put a human face on the consequences of this intractable conflict.

Most importantly, it showed how individuals, on the ground, and on the front lines, can transcend hopelessness to find the vision and courage to work together non-violently to resist oppression.

The following films were shown in this class:

Budrus - 2009 82 minutes Written & directed by Julia Bacha

5 Broken Cameras - 2011 90 minutes  Directed by Emad  Burnbat & Guy Davidi

Disturbing the Peace - 2016 87 minutes  Directed by Stephen Apkon & Andrew Young

The Settlers -  2016 110 minutes Directed by Shimon Dotan

The Gatekeepers - 2012 101 minutes  Directed by Dror Moreh

Lemon Tree - 2008 106 minutes  Directed by Eran Riklis