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Israel Connection/"ICon" (formerly Kesher Yisraeli)

Origins of This Group/Who We Are

We are a group of Dorshei members who have come together to explore our deep feelings about and connections to Israel. Some of us are Israeli, some are Israeli identified, and some are folks who are committed to a fuller exploration of their own relationship with Israel.  

Our Vision

  • Create a safe and "brave" space in which CDT members can express the fullness of their relationship, identification, and connection to the State of Israel.
  • Advocate for a secure, democratic State of Israel for all those who live there, and a safe homeland for the Jewish people.
  • Help the CDT community as a whole become more inclusive and welcoming to current and prospective Israeli and Israeli-identified members.
  • Create a broader connection to Israel among the CDT adult and youth communities by exploring Israel’s history and diverse cultures, languages, accomplishments, and challenges.
  • Encourage respectful and non-judgmental conversation about Israel among all CDT members whatever their political views and sympathies.

Our Goals

  • Provide opportunities for members to learn about Israel’s diverse cultures, languages, music, histories, peoples, and stories. Create opportunities to hear personal stories about everyday Israeli life.
  • Provide educational and interactive programs on the history of Israel and the development of the current geographic and political scenario, the rise of antisemitism, and other relevant issues. 
  • Work with the Education Director and the Children's Education Committee to expand the Religious School curriculum to include multiple and diverse narratives and images of Israel, its history, languages, cultures, achievements, challenges, etc.
  • Support the creation of affinity groups based on members’ desires for connections to Israel.

The Steering Committee

Viv Shein, Lisa Keshet, Dianne Lior, Ayelet Lipton:

Past Program: February VIMs

Israel Connection (ICon) offered three VIMs (Virtual Interest Meetups) in February as informal opportunities to share our experiences and feelings in the wake of the October 7th attack and subsequent war. 

And don't forget that you can join the Israel Connection listserv by emailing Dianne Lior.

Feeling Let Down by the Progressive Groups you Support
Hosted by Tal Shalom-Kobi and Ayelet Lipton
Monday, February 12, 7:00 pm

How do you feel when your trust in the world is fractured? When interest groups, organizations and individuals with whom you have worked or have supported, have let you down, how does one cope? When you realize that there’s a different code of ethics for Jews and non-Jews, how do you retain a sense of belonging within one’s community? Please join in to share your experiences or listen to others as we touch on these painful topics.

Choosing to have Joy in Times of War
Hosted by Ayelet Lipton and Viv Shein
Thursday, February 22, 7:30 pm

Since the Hamas attack on southern Israel on October 7th and the subsequent war, I have been unable to choose to listen to music. I get in the car, open my spotify, and just can't choose. I feel guilty when I attempt to choose what playlist to play on spotify. I ask myself: Who am I to have the privilege to choose a genre of music for pleasure when so many people are suffering? I feel helpless and guilty. (If somebody else plays music, I am able to listen and enjoy. It is something about the choosing.) Through conversations with others at CDT, I have realized that I am not the only one feeling this way. Please join me on Zoom to share things we feel too guilty to do, how we are managing them (I had my 15 year old make me 7 playlists with the name of each day - so that on Monday I simply choose Monday and deal with whatever music plays!), and to simply not feel alone. 

What Israel means to me?
Hosted by Lisa Keshet and Dianne Lior
Tuesday, February 27, 8:30 pm

In spite of its tiny size, Israel has always invoked big feelings. Now, after the Hamas massacre and the 3+ month war, October 7 is an indelible turning point: there is the before and the after. Whatever place Israel held in our hearts or consciousness, it is front and center now.  For my part, I join webinars & zooms, and listen to podcasts with highly educated, knowledgeable people, all committed to finding a solution to the Middle East conflict, so Israelis and Palestinians can move forward to live in peace.  And it’s here I find myself taking a step back and contemplating what Israel means to me.  Please join us as we share and explore the myriad ways we think about Israel, what it has meant to us in our lives, how that may have changed, and what it means to us today.  

Mon, June 24 2024 18 Sivan 5784