Step Up for Israel Get Educated. Get Empowered. Make a Difference.

December 21, 2012

What’s Happening

Constantly in the public view, there is much more to Israel than meets the eye. To spread the word about the lesser-known details, the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater is taking JerusalemOnlineU on the road with five different films and discussions at five area synagogues. The community is invited to attend all five to learn about Israel from a diverse spectrum of world-renowned Middle East experts.

JerusalemOnlineU is a leading online portal for Jewish distance learning that covers a broad array of political and religious subjects. Their innovative, original filmbased education program addresses the prevalent and growing need to educate and inspire Jewish college students and adults about Judaism and Israel so that they gain a stronger Jewish identity and an appreciation of their heritage. JerusalemOnlineU offers a variety of classes taught by a group of prestigious educators and speakers, including former Harvard Professor Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, Princeton professor Bernard Lewis and former U.N. Ambassador Dore Gold. They have produced four 10-hour, online multimedia courses, have graduated more than 4,000 students, and are responsible for more than 62,000 hours of Jewish and Israel learning by students worldwide. JerusalemOnlineU’s film education courses are currently being shown to college students, high schools, adult education classes and organizations.

In this series, the CRC and JerusalemOnlineU will explore core Israeli values and success stories born in the face of constant challenges. Understanding why Israel is always in the headlines, whether media reports are balanced and accurate, reviewing historic moments including the founding of the modern State of Israel, and getting the answers to the tough questions about Israel and the conflict, as well as learning communication techniques that are most effective for passionate Israel advocates will be covered.

This short course will increase connections to Israel and empower people to encourage friends, family, fellow students and colleagues to Step Up for Israel.

Crossing the Line
with Rabbi Michael Panitz
Thursday, Jan. 10, 7:30 pm
A powerful 30-minute film exposing the growing anti-Israel sentiment taking root on college campuses.
Temple Israel 7255 Granby Street, Norfolk

Modern Israel
with Rabbi Sender Haber
Monday, Feb. 18, 7 pm
Learn about Israel’s dynamic, innovative and humanitarian society. This class shows how Israel has become an invaluable asset and makes the world a better place.
B’nai Israel Congregation 420 Spotswood Avenue, Norfolk
Israel and the West
with Rabbi David Barnett
Wednesday, March 20, 7 pm
Discover Israel as a democratic nation that epitomizes Western values and explore the role the media plays in shaping negative opinions about Israel. Two short films (Shared Values and Israel and the Media).
Temple Emanuel 424 25th Street, Virginia Beach
Creation of a State
with Rabbi Roz Mandelberg
Thursday, April 11, 7 pm
Examine the events that led to the establishment of the State of Israel, the 1948 War of Independence, and the 1967 Six-Day War.
Ohef Sholom Temple 530 Raleigh Avenue, Norfolk

Speak Up for Israel with Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz
Wednesday, May 1, 7 pm
This film and class provide effective tools for speaking on Israel’s behalf and countering common adverse claims made against Israel.
Congregation Beth El 422 Shirley Avenue, Norfolk

After each film, a moderated discussion by the rabbi of the host synagogue will take place. Free and open to the community. RSVP requested to ensure enough handouts for attendees at each event. RSVP for one or all events to JJohnson@ujft.org.

by Robin Mancoll

Letter to the Editor