As members of Ohavi Zedek’s Board of Directors, we each volunteer to support our congregation and to contribute to OZ’s mission as a welcoming home for a diverse community.
On October 7, the horrific attacks on Israel left many in our community reeling and sometimes conflicted. We are aware that not all members of our board, our community, or even our own families, have the same perspectives and points of view about the war. Many of us have personal connections to the people and land of Israel and see Israel as a safe haven for Jews in a world that has not always been welcoming. We have concerns for all people in harm’s way, in both Israel and Gaza. And we have different opinions about the options for a long-term solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Regardless of our individual feelings or perspectives, our board is clear that OZ must strive, as much as possible, to be a sanctuary for all, regardless of one’s views on Israel. As such, we state the following, which is based on a pro-peace position:
- We are anguished by the circumstances that put neighbors in Israel and Gaza at such great odds with each other.
- We are heartbroken for those impacted by the horrific attacks by Hamas on the people of Israel. And we are heartbroken for the victims of the war in Gaza.
- We yearn for innocent hostages and captives in the conflict to be freed.
- We believe in a just two-state solution in which both Israelis and Palestinians live with safety, dignity, and peace.
- We hope for a swift end to the war. We pray and hope that all parties act in accord with international law and stay centered on the protection of civilians and the provisioning of humanitarian assistance.
- We are profoundly saddened by, and seek to reverse, the growing hate in our community and in America towards Jews, Palestinians and Muslims, among others. We seek to build bridges in our community and together bring light to this darkness.
- Finally, we reaffirm our commitment for OZ to be a sanctuary for all, and we aspire to hold space for people with differing views. We will continue to foster open, honest and respectful conversations on Israel and Palestine within our own and the larger community.