From Yiddishkeit to Middle East Peace

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Sidney Topol
Sidney Topol
After retiring from a distinguished career in the telecommunications industry, Sid Topol became politically active. He credits the Yiddishkeit culture of “social justice” for his progressive politics. “My work for Middle East peace from a perspective of civil rights and human rights was a follow-on to that.” Topol has served on the board of Americans for Peace Now since 2000 and the J Street PAC since 2008. He served on the board of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom from 2004-2009. In 2003, he went to Geneva, Switzerland to witness the signing of the Geneva Accord, a draft agreement to end the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Topol’s newest peace-related venture is funding programs to create leaders of non-violence at ten universities in the U.S. and Israel. <Read Topol’s story here>

Visionary Peacemaking

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mikva-profile
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>