From Breira to J Street

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Rabbi Richard Levy
Rabbi Richard Levy
In 1973, Rabbi Richard Levy was one of about a dozen Hillel rabbis who joined Breira, a political group that endorsed the radical idea of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel. In response to a smear campaign against the group, his Israeli friends contended, “Don’t be quiet! We need you to be a voice in the Diaspora for us.” They told him, “you should not give in to the notion that if you don’t live here, you can’t say anything.”

Levy has continued his peace activism to the present day. He has been active with New Jewish Agenda, Americans for Peace Now, and J Street. <Read Levy’s story here>

From Dialogue to Action

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Reena Bernards

Reena Bernards brought her passionate leadership to two significant Middle East peace initatives. As the first national director of New Jewish Agenda (NJA) in 1981, she helped launch a 1984 NJA national tour of a Knesset member and former West Bank mayor that was made into PBS Frontline special called “The Arab and the Israeli.” Through NJA, she organized a groundbreaking dialogue session between an Israeli and Palestinian woman at the 1985 United Nations (UN) Women’s Conference. It was the first public endorsement of mutual recognition and two states at an UN-sponsored conference.

In 1988, Bernards co-founded the Dialogue Project bringing together high-profile mainstream Jewish and Palestinian female leaders for nearly a decade. <Read Bernards’ story here >