Silent No More: An Artist for Peace

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Theo Bikel

The late Theodore Bikel was a world-renowned singer, actor, and peace activist. He starred in Broadway productions of “The Sound of Music” and “Fiddler on the Roof” and was a leader Partners for Progressive Israel (PPI) (formerly Meretz USA) until his death in 2015. He led the organization in an important new policy direction when he declared his solidarity with 150 Israeli performers who publicly pledged to boycott the new theater in the large West Bank settlement town of Ariel. This prompted PPI to endorse an economic boycott targeted at Israel’s West Bank settlements.

Bikel represented an alternative voice to mainstream American Jewish attitudes toward Israel.  “Who will carry the banner of peace, of understanding? There are enough people. I believe the present government of Israel to be totally on the wrong path. My hope is for an awakening, a realization of the Israeli people that they are capable of better. <Read Bikel’s story here>

A Woman Among Men

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IMA Lederer
IMA (Inge Gibel) Lederer was an outspoken pioneer at a time when there were few women leaders in social justice movements. A refugee from Nazi-occupied Austria, her peace-related work included serving as treasurer of Breira in the mid-1970s and as president of Americans for Progressive Israel (API), a predecessor of Partners for Progressive Israel (PPI) in the 1980s. Lederer was the only female in the only grassroots delegation from New Outlook to meet with Egyptian president Anwar Sadat on his historic 1978 trip to Jerusalem that led to the historic Israel-Egypt peace agreement in 1979. <Read Lederer’s story here>