Friday, July 13, 2012

A Slice of Life from Olympia Washington

A slice of life from Olympia, Washington.

From an article in Moment Magazine

Rabbis Yohanna Kinberg and Seth Goldstein moved to Olympia,Washington attracted by the city's community justice values. Goldstein became the rabbi at the Reconstructionist Temple Beth Hatfiloh, and Kinberg took a position at Temple B’nai Torah, a Reform temple in nearby Bellevue.

Like many Jews, Kinberg was sharply critical of certain Israeli policies, but maintained a strong personal connection to Israel. But after the Olympia Food Co-op decided behind closed doors to boycott Israeli products, tensions in the community reached a boiling point. Other Washington food co-ops in Port Townsend and Seattle and others in Park Slope, Brooklyn, Davis and Sacramento California, have proposed boycotts that failed when brought to a vote. But in Olympia, none of the three local congregational rabbis even knew a boycott was on the table. Rabbi Cheski Edelman of Olympia’s Chabad center declared “The only way it can get passed is behind closed doors.”

"The conversation about Israel has become so one-sided, says Kinberg, that any pro-Israel sentiment is rejected out of hand. Even so, she and her husband were shocked when in 2009 their eight-year-old son told them about a lesson he had learned in class. The couple had enrolled him at Lincoln Options Elementary School, an alternative program within the public school system. It’s the same elementary school that Corrie attended, and where, in fifth grade, she gave an speech against hunger and child suffering. “They were talking to us about Rachel Corrie,” he told her, “and how Israelis murdered her on purpose and drove over her with a bulldozer.” He said, “I felt so embarrassed and ashamed to be Israeli.”

The full article, written by Emily K. Alhadeff can be found here


max said...

hmm. That's encouraging.

After all, what remotely sane individual with even a shred of human decency would NOT be ashamed to be an Israeli in this day and age?

Anonymous said...

So, Max- you believe in teaching hate and intolerance to American 2nd graders? You believe the schools in America should be truth optional?

Anonymous said...

You're just so wrong-headed, Max, that I got a headache just reading your comment.