Blogmaster’s rant: I am old fashioned, I’m a Chabadnik and reasonably religious, I am a dedicated Zionist, I believe that not one centimeter of Jewish land should be relinquished for any reason, I believe that the “Two State Solution” means the death of Israel as a Jewish Homeland and a Jewish State. I also had a grievous personality fault…I tended to trust other American Jews to do what is right for Israel and our people. I have learned a hard lesson…I have learned to trust no one who voted for Obama, to trust no one who espouses drivel such as what we hear from “Peace Now” and others of their ilk, and to trust no one who, as a Jew, would support measures and ideals that would be contrary to what is best for Israel as a Jewish State.
In my opinion, the wealthy, influential American and Israeli Jews listed below are lower than whale dreck on the ocean floor. They are no better than the Judenrat or the spies that returned to inform Moshe that Israel was not as Hashem had promised. Throughout our history, we have been plagued by collaborationists such as these modern-day Hellenists. With the help of Hashem, we have always prevailed and we will do so again. The betrayers listed below should be shunned by all who love Israel as they are no different than those who would lead us as sheep to the slaughter. Bill Maniaci, Blogmaster, 12:31 לפנה"צ
We’ve got your back, Mr. President!
The Jewish people say yes to an Israeli settlement freeze:
Lead Rabbinic Signers
Tell a Friend about the Pledge
Tell Us Why You Have Obama's Back
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Donate to Support this Pledge
What's At Stake?
We've Got Your Back Pledge
Lead Rabbinic Signers
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Return to the Campaign
1. Lead Signers
Ed Asner, Emmy award-winning actor
Jeremy Ben-Ami, Executive Director, J Street
Mili Avital, Israeli Academy Award winner
Theodore Bikel, Emmy award-winning actor and folk singer
Scott Blakeman, "NY's Top Political Comedian" (NBC TV)
Heather Booth, activist; Co-founder & President of Midwest Academy
Leon Botstein, President, Bard College
Rosellen Brown, author
Lawrence Bush, Editor, Jewish Currents
Stephen P. Cohen, President, Institute for Middle East Peace and Development
Debra DeLee, President and CEO, Americans for Peace Now
Olympia Dukakis, Oscar award-winning actress
Elliot Figman, poet and author; Executive Director, Poets and Writers
Debbie Friedman, composer, singer, and recording artist
Mort Halperin, Director, Policy Planning, Department of State, 1998-2001
Arnold Hiatt, Past Chairman, Business for Social Responsibility
Philip Kotler, S.C. Johnson & Son Professor of International Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
Don Kraus, CEO, Citizens for Global Solutions
Tony Kushner, Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter
Amichai Lau-Lavie, Executive and Artistic Director, Storahtelling
Theodore Mann, past Chair of Mazon, A Jewish Response to Hunger; past Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations
Anne Meara, Tony and 4-time Emmy nominated actress and comedian
Arthur Obermayer, President, Moleculon Research Corp; President, Obermayer Foundation
Eli Pariser, Board President and former Executive Director, of MoveOn.org
Mandy Patinkin, Tony & Emmy Award-winning actor and singer
Letty Cottin Pogrebin, author; a founding editor, Ms. Magazine
Alicia Ostriker, poet and author
Miles Rapoport, President, Demos: A Network for Ideas & Action
M.J. Rosenberg, Washington Director, Israel Policy Forum
Ruth M. Rothstein, Retired CEO of Cook County Bureau of Health and Mt. Sinai Hospital of Chicago
Darya Shaikh, Executive Director, OneVoice US
Dan Sieradski, Founding Publisher, Jewschool.com
Daniel Soyer, professor of American history, Fordham University; organizer, Jewish Scholars for Obama
Marc R. Stanley, Chair, National Jewish Democratic Council
Stephen Stern, dialogue facilitator, Theater J at Washington DC JCC; Director, Akbar Ahmed’s Waziristan to Washington: A Muslim at the Crossroads
Jerry Stiller, Emmy-nominated comedian and actor
Craig Taubman, American singer/songwriter and music producer
Sidney Topol, President, The Topol Group; retired Chairman/CEO, Scientific Atlanta
Ilana Trachtman, producer/director
Miroslav Volf, Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology, Yale University Divinity School; Director, Yale Center for Faith and Culture
Edward Witten, professor of physics, Institute for Advanced Study; MacArthur Fellow
Nancy Wohlforth, Secretary Treasurer, OPEIU; Vice President, California Federation of Labor
Louis Zorich, actor
Affiliations for informational purposes only.
2. Lead Rabbinic Signers
Rabbi Camille Shira Angel, Congregation Sha’ar Zahav (San Francisco, CA)
Rabbi Dennis Beck-Berman, OHALAH (Past President) (Petersburg, PA)
Rabbi Lisa Bellows, Congregation Beth Am (Buffalo Grove, IL)
Rabbi Stan Levy, B'nai Horin (Los Angeles, CA)
Rabbi Allen B. Bennett, Temple Israel of Alameda (Alameda, CA)
Rabbi Elizabeth Beyer, Jewish Community of Elko County (Reno, NV)
Rabbi Binyamin Biber, Machar - The Washington DC Congregation for Secular Humanistic Judaism (Washington, DC)
Rabbi Stephen Booth-Nadav, Bnai Havurah:CJRF (Denver, CO)
Rabbi Caryn Broitman, Martha's Vineyard Hebrew Center (Vineyard Haven, MA)
Rabbi Herbert Bronstein North Shore Congregation Israelï (Glencoe, IL)
Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein, Congregation B’nai Jeshurun (New York, NY)
Rabbi Sharon Brous, IKAR; named to Newsweek's Top 50 Influential Rabbis (2008, 2009) and 25 Top Pulpit Rabbis (2008) lists
Rabbi Marcus L. Burstein, Temple Rodef Shalom (Falls Church, VA)
Rabbi Ayelet Cohen, Congregation Beth Simchat Torah (New York)
Rabbi Michael M. Cohen, North American Recruitment and Special Projects, Arava Institute for Environmental Studies
Shoshanah H. Conover, Temple Sholom of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Rabbi Mychal Copeland, Hillel at Stanford (Stanford, CA)
Rabbi James S. Diamond, Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)
Rabbi Robert Dobrusin, (Ann Arbor, MI)
Rabbi Art Donsky, Temple Ohav Shalom blog author, “Know Justice, Know Peace”, past chair, Greater Pittsburgh Rabbinic Association (Allison Park, PA)
Rabbi Elliot Dorff, Rector, Sol & Anne Dorff Distinguished Service Professor in Philosophy, American Jewish University; named to Newsweek’s Top 50 Influential Rabbis list (2007, 2008, 2009)
Rabbi Malka Drucker, Hamakomï (Santa Fe, NM)
Rabbi Larry Edwards, Congregation Or Chadash (Chicago, IL)
Rabbi Amy Eilberg, St. Paul Interfaith Network (Mendota Heights)
Rabbi Diane Elliot, The Aquarian Minyan (Berkeley, CA)
Rabbi Charles Feinberg, Adas Israel Congregation (Washington, DC)
Rabbi Michael Feinberg, (New York, NY)
Rabbi Ted Feldman, B'nai Israel Jewish Center (Petaluma, CA)
Rabbi Brian Field, Judaism Your Way (Denver, CO)
Rabbi Reuven Firestone, Professor of Medieval Jewish and Islamic Studies, HUC-JIR/Los Angeles
Rabbi Tirzah Firestone, Congregation Nevei Kodesh (Boulder, CO); author
Rabbi Frank Fischer, (Chapel Hill, NC)
Rabbi Randy Fleisher, Central Reform Congregation (St. Louis, MO)
Rabbi Dayle A. Friedman, Director, Hiddur: The Center for Aging and Judaism, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College; named to Forward 50 list (2008)
Rabbi John Friedman, Judea Reform Congregation (Durham, NC); Chair Rabbinic Cabinet, Brit Tzedek v’Shalom
Rabbi Capers C. Funnye, Jr., Congregation Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation (Chicago, IL)
Rabbi Joyce Galaski, Congregation Ahavas Achim (Amherst, MA)
Rabbi Hillel Gamoran, rabbi emeritus at Beth Tikvah Congregation, (Evanston, IL)
Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg, Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (Chester, NY)
Rabbi David Gordis, President Emeritus, Hebrew College; founding director of the National Center for Jewish Policy Studies
Rabbinical Student Emma Gottlieb, (New York, NY)
Rabbi Art Green, Rector, Hebrew College Rabbinical School; named to Newwseek’s Top 50 Influential Rabbis list (2008, 2009)
Rabbi C. Michelle Greenberg, Temple Jeremiah (Northfield, IL)
Rabbi Nicole Greninger, (New York, NY)
Rabbi Beth Janus, Temple Beth El (Santa Cruz, CA)
Rabbi Nancy Kasten, Director of Hebrew & Judaic Affairs, The Wise Academy (Dallas, TX)
Rabbi Jonathan Klein, (Los Angeles, CA)
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, Congregation Beth Simchat Torah (New York, NY); Newsweek’s 2007, 2008, 2009 Top 50 Influential Rabbis
Cantor Jeff Klepper, Temple Sinai / Sharon MA (West Roxbury, MA)
Rabbi Peter Knobel, Beth Emet the Free Synagogue (Evanston, IL); Past President, Central Conference of American Rabbis
Rabbi Chava Koster, The Village Temple - B'nai Israel (New York, NY)
Rabbi Yechiael Lander, Jewish Community of Amherst / Smith and Amherst Colleges (emeritus) (Northampton, MA)
Rabbi Michael Lerner, Tikkun Magazine/Beyt Tikkun (Berkeley, CA)
Cantor Sam Levine, East Midwood Jewish Center (Brooklyn, NY)
Rabbi Joshua Levine-Grater , Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center (Pasadena, CA); Rabbinic Cabinet, Brit Tzedek v’Shalom
Rabbi Stan Levy, B'nai Horin (Los Angeles, CA)
Rabbi Seth M. Limmer, Congregation B'nai Yisrael (Armonk, NY)
Rabbi Ellen Lippmann, Kolot Chayeinu / Voices of Our Lives, (Brooklyn, NY)
Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, (Philadelphia, PA)
Rabbi Tamar Malino, Peninsula JCC (San Mateo, CA)
Rabbi Jonathan Malino, Professor of Philosophy, Guilford College (Greensboro, NC)
Rabbi Roly Matalon, Congregation B’nai Jeshurun (New York, NY); named to Newsweek’s Top 50 Influential Rabbis (2007, 2008, 2009) and 25 Top Pulpit Rabbis (2008) lists
Rabbinical Student Jessica Kate Meyer, (Belmont, MA)
Rabbi Jack Moline, Agudas Achim Congregation (Alexandria, VA); Vice-chair of The Interfaith Alliance; named to Newsweek’s 2008 Top Pulpit Rabbis list
Rabbi Linda Motzkin, Temple Sinai (Saratoga Springs, NY)
Rabbi Laura Owens, Congregation B'nai Horin (Beverly Hills, CA)
Rabbi Yael Ridberg, West End Synagogue (New York, NY); President, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
Rabbi Brant Rosen, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation (Evanston, IL); named to Newsweek’s 2008 Top Pulpit Rabbis list
Rabbi Donald B. Rossoff, Temple B'nai Or (Morristown, NJ)
Rabbi Michael Rothbaum,Director/Campus Rabbi, Hillels of Westchester (Nyack, NY)
Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, author and educator
Cantor Bob Scherr, Williams College (Williamstown, MA)
Rabbi Drorah Setel, (Buffalo, NY)
Rabbi Julie Saxe-Taller, Congregation Sherith Israel (San Francisco, CA); Co-Chair Rabbinic Cabinet, Brit Tzedek v’Shalom
Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Rabbinic Chair of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal; named to Newsweek’s Top 50 Influential Rabbis list (2007, 2008, 2009)
Rabbi Marvin Schwab, Temple Beth Shalom (Santa Fe, NM)
Rabbi Amy Schwartzman, Temple Rodef Shalom (Falls Church, VA); named to Newsweek’s Top Pulpit Rabbis list (2008)
Rabbi John Sherwood, Oxnard, CA
Rabbinical Student Andy Shugerman, (New York, NY)
Rabbi Jodie Siff, Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore (Plandome, NY)
Rabbi Suzanne Singer, Temple Beth El (Riverside, CA)
Rabbi Elisabeth Stern, Congregation Eitz Chayim (Cambridge, MA)
Rabbi Ron Stern, Stephen S. Wise Temple (Los Angeles, CA)
Rabbi Adam Stock Spilker, Mount Zion Temple (St. Paul, MN)
Rabbinical Student Patrice Spitz, (Boulder, CO)
Rabbi Toba Spitzer, Congregation Dorshei Tzedek (Newton, MA); named to Newsweek’s Top 50 Influential Rabbis list (2007, 2008)
Cantor Elliot Taubman, Congregation Sons and Daughters of Ruth (Block Island, RI)
Rabbinical Student Rachel Timoner, Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Founder and Director, The Shalom Center
Rabbi Bridget Wynne, Jewish Gateways (El Cerrito, CA)
Rabbi Michael Zedek, Emanuel Congregation (Chicago, IL)
Rabbi David J. Zucker, Shalom Park (Aurora, CO)
Affiliations for informational purposes only.
3. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What does "We've Got Your Back" mean?
It’s important that the President know that a resounding majority of American Jews want a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and are willing to see the U.S. take a tough stance – nearly 70%, in fact, support the U.S. publicly disagreeing with Israeli or Arab positions, or exerting pressure on both parties to make compromises, if it will help resolve the conflict. http://www.jstreet.org/files/images/J_Street_Survey_Analysis_032309.doc]
For Brit Tzedek, “we’ve got your back” means that President Obama does not have only the passive support of the organization and our grassroots advocates. We are actively committed to helping him bring his policy goals to fruition, getting the word out and winning hearts and minds. The President has said that he wants a two-state solution by the end of his first term – Brit Tzedek will help face down naysayers, and provide him with the political breathing room and active assistance he’ll need.
2. What can the U.S. do if the Israelis and Palestinians don’t respond positively to President Obama's efforts?
Clearly, any peace deal will have to be struck between the two parties. No one can force Israelis and Palestinians to accept an agreement they don’t want. However, there’s a difference between forcing an agreement, and using the U.S. government’s powers of persuasion. A powerful example can be seen in the success of the 1998 Irish peace talks, mediated by former Senator George Mitchell, who serves currently as the Special Envoy to the Middle East.
By deploying talented, dedicated people to the region – Mitchell has gone several times, Secretary of State Clinton has been, envoys have been sent to Syria – and empowering them to achieve agreement, President Obama has signaled that he’s serious about achieving a two-state resolution by the end of his first term. This seriousness demonstrates that the parties have a real ally in the effort to end the violence, and also serves notice that the U.S. is no longer willing to accept an endless cycle of destruction.
On both sides, a majority of ordinary people have consistently said that they want a two-state solution. Many Israeli and Palestinian politicians, intellectuals, military experts, and cultural icons agree. The positions of a particular government aren’t necessarily a reflection of the peoples’ willingness to achieve peace. If the U.S. invests fully in diplomacy, encourages cooperation, and helps to clarify that only peace can bring true security, America can serve a crucial role in turning the reality around.
3. Can individuals pledging really make a difference in political policy?
It’s not the pledge itself, so much as the actions to which you pledge yourself. It’s very easy to do nothing when it seems nothing can be done. But by committing yourself to action, you’ll join your voice to Jewish Americans across the country who want to see a peaceful resolution of the conflict, and want the U.S. to take a leading role in finding that resolution. For decades, American politicians have believed that American Jews line up behind official Israeli policy and are unwilling to consider a two-state peace accord with the Palestinians. Writing to Congress, taking part in Action Alerts, writing to newspapers and blogging your opinions – all this informs our leaders that many support the new policy direction, and changes the tone of the discourse. Reaching out to friends and family expands the circle of advocates who will work to achieve a real solution.
4. What can Congress do to influence foreign policy?
Congress approves our national budget, and this carries enormous weight. For instance, if the administration wants to direct funds to monitoring implementation of a new agreement, it won’t be able to without Congressional approval. Furthermore, Congress represents the people: If it rejects an Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the administration will understand that it doesn’t have either the political or popular support it needs to act. The recent sea-change in Congressional attitudes has played an important role in giving the Obama administration the political room to voice its policy plans, and if this momentum gains, the openness to diplomacy will also grow.
5. Does Obama really pay attention to the grassroots?
Yes, he does, in particular with regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Brit Tzedek has been advocating with Barack Obama from his days as a Senator, and our members and national leaders often turned to him to express their thoughts on the conflict during his campaign. Representatives of the Obama campaign met with Brit Tzedek prior to the election, and during the transition period.
Among the first actions the President took post-inauguration were many that Brit Tzedek had urged for years, and he’s often used language that echoes Brit Tzedek’s positions. He has consistently made it clear that he wants to hear from the individuals who make up the American electorate, and has shaped policy responsive to the needs he’s heard.
6. Who can sign the pledge?
The pledge is geared toward American Jews, but any American who supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is encouraged to sign, and join in our advocacy.
7. Why is the pledge targeted to Jews?
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has long been at the center of American Jewish discourse. Many American politicians have assumed that if they express anything but complete support for official Israeli positions, we would turn against them. As such, our input has far more weight than our numbers would indicate – and American Jewish peace advocates have got to make it clear the majority of our community actually supports a two-state solution, including the possibility of pressure on Israel to achieve such a solution http://www.jstreet.org/files/images/J_Street_Survey_Analysis_032309.doc]
Moreover, the vast majority of American Jewish voters cast their votes for President Obama. We are a central part of the success of his campaign, and we must act to make our voices heard to the man we helped place in office.
4. Signer Disclaimer
By signing this open letter, you agree to allow Brit Tzedek v’Shalom to publicize your name publicly and in any paid advertising. Your signature on this pledge indicates support for the contents of the pledge and does not constitute your agreement with all of the positions of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom. If you wish to sign the pledge anonymously, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. You may give us your general endorsement for our work by joining our Brit Tzedek’s Email list at http://ga3.org/btvshalom/join.tcl?source=home_2009.
5. Return to the Campaign
Maintainer: Brit Tzedek v'Shalom (email@example.com)
Dear President Obama,
Please know that I share your sense of urgency to bring peace to the Middle East.
Therefore, I pledge:
to back your committed and persistent leadership in support of a negotiated two-state solution
to work within my communities to build the political will that will enable you to take decisive and bold steps -- and to urge Congress to support you in this endeavor
to make it known that an American President who dedicates himself to establishing a durable Israeli-Palestinian peace acts in the best interests of Israelis, Palestinians, the United States and our allies
to support you in staying the course through difficult times and to celebrate your successes
In Hebrew, the words for wind and for spirit are one and the same -- ruach. As you work for peace, I promise that the ruach of the American Jewish people and our friends in the pro-Israel community will be at your back.