We are not one thing, but we are — you are — everything

This sermon was originally delivered Friday, March 12th as part of a virtual Kabbalat Shabbat service co-hosted by Kol Tzedek Synagogue in Philadelphia, Tzedek Chicago and Jewish Voice for Peace.

Shabbat Shalom!

WOW. I am so grateful and so overwhelmed by Kol Tzedek, Tzedek Chicago, and JVP coming together to honor me tonight. Thank you, thank you! It’s so auspicious for us to be here on Shabbat HaChodesh and Rosh Chodesh Nissan — the new month in which we remember and imagine freedom.

I am particularly struck that ten years ago, when I started at Jewish Voice for Peace, a…

by David L. Mandel

Andrew Lachman’s “The IHRA Definition Has Space to Criticize Israel” gets it wrong off the bat (published in the March 4, 2021 issue of The Jewish Journal). He writes that the group’s highly controversial redefinition of antisemitism “was adopted by President Obama’s State Department in 2010.” In fact, it was 2016 before the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (not “Association”) joined the business of redefining antisemitism to immunize Israel from serious human rights criticism.

The point is not mere “Gotcha” trivia. It goes to the heart of the matter, in which Israel’s self-appointed intellectual bodyguards had to…

Which Side are You On? A Moment of Reckoning for American Jews

Guest author: Rabbi Brant Rosen, of Tzedek Chicago and co-founder of JVP Rabbinic Council

As is the case for many I’m sure, the refrain, “which side are you on?” has been echoing through my heart and soul this past week as the American legacy of structural racism and state violence has been so brutally laid bare in our country. In fact, I can’t recall a time in my own lifetime in which this question has ever been more critically relevant.

As I write these words, hundreds of cities…

Art by Dalia Shevin of Justseeds

Perhaps you’ve wondered about what some of our forebears were doing while the Nakba was occurring, and where they stood on the question of a Jewish state. I was also eager to know, so I went to Jewish Life, the predecessor of today’s Jewish Currents, and to the Daily Worker and Political Affairs, the essential Communist Party publications, and read them from 1946 through 1949 to find out. For me, as a Red Diaper Baby and a Jewish activist working for Palestinian rights, the discovery was traumatic: this is a sad story with a strong moral: beware of the strength of nationalism to undermine precious principles.

— Dorothy M. Zellner

Read below or click here to download the PDF of the manuscript.

Over 1,000 people attended the Lights for Liberty event in Albany, New York on July 12, 2019.

On July 12, Mark Mishler spoke on behalf of JVP-Albany at the Lights for Liberty vigil for detained migrants. The following is a transcript of his speech.

Dear friends, dear brothers and sisters,

I am proud to be here this evening representing Jewish Voice for Peace.

We are here because we have no choice. Our history demands that we join with others to fight against all oppression, all forms of racism, all ramifications of white supremacy.

Jewish Voice for Peace stands for human rights.

We reject the premise that some people deserve human rights while others do not.

This is…

Guest post by Leila Barghouty

Opinions and commentary on Israel/Palestine, Islamophobia and Antisemitism. Postings do not necessarily represent the views of Jewish Voice for Peace

Recently, President Trump announced that the United States will be recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The move causes two things: a slight increase in convenience for diplomats in Israel, and serious political and social unrest across the Middle East. Photos of storefronts on strike and protesters wielding charred American flags and molotov cocktails dominate coverage of the issue, fueling the argument that the Middle East is a perpetually dangerous and volatile place.

The US is…

This drash (reflection) on Chanukkah was given by Max Fineman, from JVP Columbia/Barnard, at Return the Birthright’s rally and speak-out outside of Birthright Israel Foundation’s offices, December 3, 2017

Chanukkah, as is often said, is about sustaining light in dark times. At a time when desecration and destruction and actual imperialism ran rampant through the streets of Jerusalem, it seemed impossible to light the menorah in the temple- it seemed impossible, with the resources they had, to bring any light into the city, or into their world. …

(L-R) Leo Ferguson, Lina Morales, Amy Goodman, Rebecca Vilkomerson and Linda Sarsour at a panel on antisemitism, New York, November 28, 2017.

Transcript of Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace Rebecca Vilkomerson’s remarks from “Antisemitism and the Struggle for Justice” panel, 11/28/2017

It’s an honor to be sitting on a panel with such a thoughtful, committed group of people. After all the hoopla surrounding this event, it is exciting to be here having a serious, nuanced conversation about a really important topic.

Amy spoke very evocatively about what happened in Charlotesville and I want to start there as well, because I also remember watching the video with young men thundering “blood and soil, blood and soil” and feeling truly terrified.


by Noah Mlyn, sophomore at Brown University

Originally published in the Jewish Daily Forward, October 2, 2017

Earlier this month, registration for Birthright Israel’s winter programs opened, inviting thousands of Jewish young people to accept a gift that seems too good to be true: a completely free trip to Israel. Many of these young people will be excited to experience firsthand the country that they have been taught to consider their own since childhood. This is an understandable sentiment, and one that many of my friends and family members share. …

Activists Ghada Karmi and Ellen Siegel, in front of the Israeli embassy in London on the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, 1973

Since 1999, the Birthright Israel program has sent over 500,000 Jewish young adults on a free ten-day trip to Israel, in the name of strengthening Jewish identity and connection to the Jewish state. These trips, funded by the government of Israel and the North American Jewish Federations as well as individual donors like billionaire Republican Sheldon Adelson, aim to promote the idea that young Jews from all over the world should feel like the land and State of Israel belongs to us and is our homeland. …

Jewish Voice for Peace

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