At PSJC, we have a wide range of perspectives about Israel within our community, and our goal is to support dialogue so that we can hear and learn from one another. In addition to bringing in speakers and engaging in discussion, PSJC's commitment to the State of Israel is reflected in a number of ongoing special activities. As part of our communal commitment to educating ourselves about and engaging with Israel, we recently began a number of new Israel-related initiatives at PSJC, including a monthly "Israel Now" conversation with our Shaliach, Tomer Geckler, and an Israeli short film series. We are also excited to share a new feature in our weekly e-blast to draw our attention to key moments in Israel’s story: “Next Week in Israel’s History.” Please check the Events Page for scheduled activities. Please also see our blog, Next Week In Israel's History, where we archive the weekly historical postings about cultural, political and other interesting events in the history of Israel.
PSJC is pleased to have participated in the Shinshinim program for many years. Shinshinim are Israeli teens who are here on their optional year of service between high school and the Israeli Army. Shinshinim in the U.S. are charged with bringing their considerable energy and passion to help Americans have a better understanding of the complexity and beauty of modern Israel. These extraordinary teens work with synagogues, universities, day schools, camps and youth groups and have become an invaluable asset to our community. Although the program has been interrupted during the COVID crisis, we continue to engage in a number of ways with the Shaliach in charge of the program, and look forward to the day when we can once again welcome these young people into our communal lives.
Several years ago, PSJC’s Israel Committee began a program for Israel Independence Day (Yom Ha’atzmaut), which has grown into an annual Brownstone Brooklyn Jewish community-wide program, with food (of course!), virtual trips to Israel, a marketplace (shuk), music, dance, cooking and other programs for the for all ages.
Once a month PSJC hosts "Kishkush Acharei Kiddush" ("Chit-chat after Kiddush"), a Hebrew discussion group. This group of 25 plus adults, led by one of our many fluent speakers, chat together about an array of topics. During the current health crisis, the conversation group has morphed into "Pitput b'Zman Biddud" ("Chatting in the Time of Isolation"), which meets online weekly. All levels of Hebrew speakers are welcome and are asked to participate at their level.
Difduf is our Hebrew language reading group. Once a month we meet in a moderated discussion (in Hebrew) about a piece of Israeli short fiction; the group currently meets on Zoom.
PSJC has hosted an Israeli film club and has been a co-sponsor for several Israeli film festivals at the JCC of Manhattan.