08 Sep

Love & Peace, Love & Peace, Love & Peace, Love & Peace,

Jewish Voice for Peace
Dear The McGlynn, 
Tonight, the Jewish year of 5770 will come to an end, and a new year will begin.One of the most beautiful elements of Jewish tradition is the opportunity during this time to look back and look forward – to acknowledge our wrongs of the year past, to honestly assess our actions, to think about what our hopes are for the next year, and how we will try to fulfill them.We invite all of you – Jews and non-Jews alike – to take a moment, reflect, and share with us your hopes, dreams, and promises for the future on our website, This Is My Promise.Our promise to you this year is to be more powerful, more courageous, and more effective in building a fierce and fearless movement for justice for all peoples in Israel and Palestine.That’s why we are so deeply gratified to start the year with such extraordinary news.

One, we are greatly honored that Rabbis Brant Rosen and Alissa Wise will be the co-chairs of Jewish Voice for Peace’s new Rabbinical Council. You can learn more about the Council here, and download prayers and reflections that you can use during this holiday. We know they will help you spark a dialog and raise awareness.

Two, a brave group of Israeli actors, writers, playwrights and directors recently declared that they would not cross into the West Bank to perform in an illegal settlement. You could think of it as their promise for the year. They were immediately vilified by Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and countless others and asked us for support.

We went to our friends in the arts world and the amazing happened: more than 150 of the bright lights in American film and theater stood up to support these artists of conscience, including people like Stephen Sondheim, Hal Prince, Tony Kushner, Julianne Moore, Mira Nair, Cynthia Nixon, Mandy Patinkin, Ed Asner, Wallace Shawn, Jennifer Tilly,  Eve Ensler, Vanessa Redgrave and so many more.

No matter what happens next, this is already a breakthrough in shining a bright light on the illegality of the Israeli settlements, and the necessity of taking a stand for human rights and international law. And because it is happening now, at the New Year, I can’t help but consider the meaning of standing up for what is right in this world – and that for our brothers and sisters in Palestine, the consequences of speaking their conscience is so much greater.

And so…I’m making a promise this year: To remind the world to fight for justice for Palestinian prisoners of conscience. To continue to stand in solidarity with the brave Israelis who are speaking out. To do everything we can to continue to build a movement that fights for equal rights – nothing more, nothing less – for everyone, Palestinian or Israeli.

And in the end, we face the new year with great hope. Our movement is stronger than ever, and the tide is turning. What is your hope for this year? Tell us at

Shanah Tovah – Happy New Year – may it be a year of sweetness, peace, and justice for you, your family, your loved ones, and the world.

And to our Muslim friends Ramadan Kareem and Eid Mubarak.  


Rebecca Vilkomerson
Jewish Voice for Peace
PS. Like you, we are deeply alarmed by growing anti-Muslim hatred across the U.S. In this time of reflection, we urge you to read Muslim Community Center? Why Not? Why Should Jews Care? by our friends at


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