Visionary Peacemaking

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Rabbi Rachel Mikva
Rabbi Rachel Mikva brings a unique background to her peacemaking. She has served as both a congregational rabbi and a professor at a progressive Christian theological seminary – and grew up in the family of beloved liberal political icon, the Hon. Abner J. Mikva. Mikva seeks to create caring and self-critical discourse on Israel among both Jews and Christians. As she describes it, learning about the dark side of Israel’s story entails going through stages that include pain, denial, anger, and rebuilding. “When we first discover the hard stories, we may go through denial. You can live in denial and say, ‘No, Israel is still perfect and wonderful.’ Or you can abandon it entirely and say, ‘I want nothing to do with Israel because it is this flawed nation’ (like every other nation). Or you can reimagine and reengage” and ask, ‘What is my relationship with this place? What kind of state might it yet become?’ You can rewrite that story, preferably with others who are also struggling. <Read Mikva’s story here>

Trailblazing Political Activist

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Arthur Obermayer
Arthur Obermayer, who passed away on January 10, 2016, was well known as a visionary in entrepreneurship and philanthropy. His trailblazing peacemaking work was equally impressive. After many years of political involvement, including a stint as a speech writer for the 1972 McGovern presidential campaign, Obermayer became convinced of the centrality of the political process in effecting change. When he decided in 1989 to make peace and justice for Israelis and Palestinians a primary focus of his life, Obermayer determined that the Israeli Ratz Party (a forerunner to the Meretz Party) most closely reflected his views. He set about building a support organization for the party in the U.S. with both a political and charitable arm. This organization’s legacy is carried forward today by Partners for Progressive Israel. And this was just the beginning of his activism. Read Obermayer’s story here >