"For as long as I can remember, the Conservative movement has been my home. It was where I learned the meaning of community and friendship. Where I learned to read Hebrew, to daven and chant Torah, to keep kosher and to keep Shabbat. Where I learned that everyone in the world is created b’tselem elohim – in the image of God, and that as Jews it is our responsibility to repair the brokenness of the world.
But the Conservative movement was also where I learned to love Israel unconditionally and defend it furiously without question. Where I learned every detail of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit’s captivity and eventual release while never hearing of the IDF’s cruel and widespread imprisonment of Palestinians without charges or trial. Where I spent three days in Israeli Army training and traveled to West Bank settlements while only ever meeting one Palestinian during a four month trip. Where I learned that even the word “Palestine” was a threat and a lie - a fabricated nation that served as an excuse to wipe Jews into the sea. Where I learned over time that Palestinians must be an exception to “b’tselem elohim,” – how else could we call for social justice and simultaneously oppress another people?
If the occupation were in any way defensible, or in line with our Jewish values, our Jewish communities would not need to hide the truth from us. It’s time for our Jewish institutions to trust that they’ve raised a generation of Jews strong enough to be able to hold the reality of the occupation and lead our communities towards supporting freedom and dignity for all people in Israel/Palestine." -Ramah Wisconsin, Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim (TRY), USY, Conservative Synagogue alumna