Published Winter, 1998 in REFORM JUDAISM, the official publication of the
Union of American Hebrew Congregations, reaching 300,000 member households.

When Jews and Palestinians Share Shabbat

      A Shabbat service attended by both Jews and Palestinians at Congregation Bet Haverim, Davis, CA last May became "a transformative experience," says Rabbi Greg Wolfe.
      Nearly 100 people, including congregants and members of the general community, attended the event, which began with a meal of Middle Eastern foods and ended with prayers for peace offered in English, Hebrew, and Arabic.
      Three Jews and three Palestinians, all members of the Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue Group, a San Mateo- based organization formed by Len and Libby Traubman, spoke to the crowd about security, justice, and what needs to change in order for Jews and Palestinians to live as neighbors.
      "When you got beyond which group hurt the other group more, what came out of the discussion was a feeling of mutuality," Rabbi Wolfe says. "The stories about seeking a homeland were really the same."
      After meeting face to face with Palestinians, some congregants admitted they were "rethinking how we learn and understand Jewish history, as well as the whole mythos about how the State of Israel came to be," Wolfe notes.
      "We definitely want to do more of this type of programming, and hope other congregations are inspired to do the same."
      For information on how your temple can create this kind of program, please contact Rabbi Greg Wolfe at Congregation Bet Haverim, 1821 Oak Avenue, Davis, CA, 95616, (916) 758- 0842, e-mail

Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue Group
1448 Cedarwood Drive, San Mateo, CA 94403
Voice: (650) 574-8303 Fax:(650) 573-1217

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