What Is israel360?We remember when you could have a conversation about Israel and not feel like you had to defend one “side” against “the other.” Where you could ask questions and not feel like you were being a bad Jew for asking them…be they about the conflict, history or anything else for that matter. Now it seems like everything that touches Israel – especially on the web or at events – is all about promoting one point of view over others. You have to stand on one side or the other. We are a group of insiders and outsiders who share a common goal -creating a place for us and our peers to engage with Israel in a non-judgmental, non-confrontational and non-advocacy fashion. We call that place: israel360. The heart of the Jewish tradition (and the name of the nation itself….) is to wrestle. Our goal is to create a forum where we can authentically wrestle with Israel. Where we can start conversations without being sure where they will lead. Where no one is trying to “win the debate.”
Ground Rules…The above is what we are for…but what about what we are against? We are against attempts to hijack the conversation around Israel for purely political ends. We are also against binary thinking. This means you can be critical of Israel and still be a good Jew. And yes, you can also praise Israel and be a bad Jew. The two are NOT connected. Are we “pro-Israel”? Yes, israel360 is pro-Israel in that we are pro the idea of a Jewish nation state in the current location of Israel. Borders? Not up to us. Rights? Yes, we believe in a democratic Israel. Wait. Are we a lefty or righty organization? Neither. Let’s try and move beyond “left” versus “right” and build something new here…
So What?What we are doing at israel360 is really an experiment. Can we co-create a new forum around one of the hottest topics without getting singed?
Who Are We?Israel360 is powered by Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP). CJP is helping provide the initial platform, but we control the content. CJP is based in Boston, Mass. If you live in the Boston area and are interested in israel360’s in-person events (they’re almost always free), learn more at our Jewish Boston page.
What Do We Do?Through online information and events, we aim to bring you the kind of speakers and information about Israel that breaks through the usual noise. We give you a chance to ask artists, professors, politicians, soldiers, thinkers, entrepreneurs, and anyone else the questions.
Israeli settlements in the West Bank may well be the most reported on communities in the world. What image do you see in your head when someone says "Israeli settler?" You might be surprised to learn that some of the earliest settlers - the ones who settled in the West Bank just after the 1967 Six-Day War - were not "not messianic zealots or right-wing extremists but idealists engaged in liberal causes." Join us for this special discussion with Sara Yael Hirshhorn, author of "City on a Hilltop: American Jews and the Israeli Settler Movement."