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How American Jews Perceive Life and Politics in Israel Focus of Lecture at B’nai Sholom

The myths and realities of how the American Jewish community perceives life and politics in Israel will be the focus of a lecture at B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation by Bard College professor Ethan Bloch.

Bloch will deliver his talk, “Myths and Realities: American Jewish Perception of Life and Politics in Israel,” Thursday, January 17, at 7:30 p.m. at B’nai Sholom, 420 Whitehall Road, Albany. The program is free and open to the public.

For many American Jews, Israel has long been an important cultural and political focus. And yet, there are some aspects of both life and politics in Israel that are either unfamiliar or misunderstood by some American Jews. Israel, and Israelis, are sometimes idealized. Impressions of Israel by Americans are often shaped by the religious or political perspective of the viewer. Bloch’s talk will survey a number of issues concerning life and politics in Israel, attempt to clarify a few misconceptions and address the larger political questions facing Israel from a pro-Israel, pro-peace perspective.

Bloch is a professor of mathematics at Bard College. He has been active for many years in groups that support Israel’s well-being through the achievement of a negotiated settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He was a co-chair of the national Middle East Task Force of New Jewish Agenda, a member of the Executive Board of American Friends of Meretz and a co-chair of the Capital District chapter of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom (Jewish Alliance for Justice & Peace), which is now part of J Street. He holds a doctoral degree from Cornell University. Bloch lives in Albany, and his family is a member of Congregation Ohav Shalom and the Havurah Minyan of the Capital District.

For more information about the January 17 lecture, visit www.bnaisholom.albany.ny.us or contact the B’nai Sholom office at 518-482-5283 or e-mail office@bnaisholom.albany.ny.us.

Founded in 1971, B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation in Albany is a home for contemporary Reform Judaism in the Capital Region, creating a vibrant Jewish present that links ancient traditions with the promise of the future. Nearly 160 diverse households from six counties seek religious, educational and social fulfillment at B’nai Sholom.

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