Jim’s June 5 Missive

I have been wanting the dust to settle in my brain and files and piles to be sorted and put away so I can clearly articulate what I learned from my recent trip back to Palestine with the Center for Jewish Nonviolence. I’m not quite ready, really, but time’s a wastin’! I really need already to have been promoting this next item:

featuring Rabbi David Cooper and Jim Haber
Kehilla Community Synagogue

Saturday, June 10, 7:00 to 9:00 pm
1300 Grand Ave., Piedmont
(just over the border with Oakland in the wheelchair accessible social hall)

Here is the Facebook event. Please like it or express interest in it.
Here is the synagogue’s calendar’s listing.

Please be in touch with me if you are interested in more report-backs about this and last year’s delegation experience. I also was at this year’s Jerusalem Day action that was very different from last year’s Jerusalem Pride parade that I attended after the delegation to the West Bank was over!

There were several other people from the Bay Area who also have stories and perspectives to share who can’t make it on Saturday, so with your interest, we will plan more. This event is sponsored by Kehilla’s Middle East Peace Committee that I joined after last year’s delegation led me to join a synagogue for the first time in my adult life.

If you want to see some of my photos from the CJNV delegation, check out my “Sumud For All” Flikr Album. I also have an album of images from the “Jerusalem Day 2017.” If you want to view some video clips of people speaking to me/us about their lives, or to see some clips of police and people at work, in Sumud Freedom Camp or near Damascus Gate on J-Day, check out my YouTube channel videos.

I am still working on descriptions of photos, and writing something insightful about what I learned. I am grateful to have been asked to report on the delegation at Kibbutz Gezer the day it ended. That was a good push to start the process of reflection, but it was rather sudden, and then I was still on the road, taking in new experiences (like a first visit to Istanbul which was really great. Thank you, Tycho!) as much as digesting what I had just been through. And while the turnout there was small-ish, the questions raised there also weigh on how I want to talk about my experience, so it helped get me going, but it also added grist to the mill.

Also, what we started there continues to unfold! Sumud (“STEADFASTNESS” in a hybrid Hebrew-Arabic neologism) Freedom Camp in Sarura remains in use by Palestinians and sympathetic Israelis and diaspora Jews though in much smaller numbers than when we were all there. (LANGUAGE NOTE: I was simply typing, “Sarura remains occupied by Palestinians and sympathetic Israelis and diaspora Jews…,” but then the difficulty of the word “occupy” in this context came up for me. In a similar way, translation of our name, CJNV and a description of who we are and how we work is difficult if you have to avoid words related to “collaborate.” Nonviolence (or “non-violence” which I personally don’t tend to use) is also tricky since Israelis want to disarm Palestinians but keep all of theirs.

These and other conundrums need further exploration, and soon. Look for a more in depth look at my May travels later this month. I hope my Bay Area peeps will come out this Saturday, or let me know, and we will schedule another time. And VEGAS…I have my eye on you for a report-back too!

I really want to thank you all again for the support many of you sent me so I could go back. And thanks to Chava and everyone at Kibbutz Gezer for your hospitality (in particular Roxanne and Elliott & Judy for comfy lodging) and Tycho in Istanbul for being such a great host (with an amazing view!) and fun person to hang out with again.


When David Nesmith, who I provided part-time care to at his home with his wife Annie for two years, moved into an assisted living residence in April, it was clear that I would probably be moving on before too long. It is a beautiful house with amazing grounds. Annie and I very much appreciate each other and have lived together well. We care about each other deeply. It may have been a great situation for me to stay here longer, but she has another friend who would like to live with her and who already has more income to spend on rent than I have needed to in my adult life. So, I am looking for work and a place to live. Probably East Bay since I have been enjoying the proximity to my mom in Castro Valley, and the only work I actually have is an hour of laughter yoga a week on Saturdays where she lives. Now, that is something to build on.

Send me focus. I want to talk about Palestine. I want to focus on peace. I want to help whoever comes my way in need. I need to pay attention to myself too though, not just in my particularly self-absorbed way that I specialize in, but in a way that will help me down the road, so I can look back and not feel like I ignored what was important to deal with now.


JVP Bay Area is organizing a series of facilitated discussions using JVP’s new book on Anti-Semitism (Haymarket Press) as a jumping off point. The first one is June 11 in Berkeley from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

Also co-sponsored by JVP Bay Area and other groups, a film-screening at the Shattuck Cinema of an Israeli/Palestinian film called Junction 48. The theater booked this film on condition that there be most if not all sales in advance by June 12, so if you would, please order a ticket or two now rather than waiting. Thanks.

Reclaiming is holding the solstice plunge at Ocean Beach on Tuesday, June 20. Chapel of Chimes has its incredible Garden of Memory musical enchantment on June 21. East Bay Reclaiming is holding its Summer Solstice ritual in Ohlone Park on June 24.

…and then there’s Pride!

…and then I still need new digs and more of an income (oh, well).

This entry was posted in Jim's Approximately Monthly MIssives, Palestine Israel Zionism Isalmophobia Antisemitism. Bookmark the permalink.

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