Hello and Shana Tova! Thank you for subscribing to the monthly listing of my Seattle-area public talks, presentations, and discussions. .

Israel Current Events: Middle East Update

The monthly Israel Current Events series, now in its fifth year, is offered at four locations: Temple B'nai Torah in Bellevue, Temple Beth El in Tacoma, The Summit at First Hill, and, starting in December, Herzl-Ner Tamid Congregation on Mercer Island. (For a review of the series, please see A safe space for difficult discussions by Janis Siegel in the JT News.) 

In this month's session we'll explore the latest developments and broader trends from the turbulent region. Who is fighting whom in Syria's civil war? What is going on in the aftermath of the Iran nuclear deal? Why are refugees and migrants streaming out of the Middle East and into Europe? Where is happening in Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia? What does it mean for Israel, for U.S. policy, and for the peoples of the Middle East? Please join us to explore the facts and consider different viewpoints in a safe and inclusive setting.

  • Wednesday, October 7 , 2015, noon to 1:30 p.m., at Temple B'nai Torah in Bellevue. There is a $5 fee to attend, and you are welcome to bring your lunch.
  • Thursday, October 8, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., at Temple B'nai Torah in Bellevue. There is a $5 fee to attend, and you are welcome to bring your dinner.
Optional pre-reading for these sessions is available here.

Torahthon 2.0

Nevet will be speaking at Torahthon 2.0 on Saturday evening, November 7 on "BDS, Israel, and Us: The Delegitimization Campaign."

What is the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and how is it different from legitimate debate about Israeli policies? Who is behind it, and what are their goals? How are anti-Israel players using commercial boycotts, celebrities and performers, the legal system, and academic associations to slander and demonize Israel? Is the anti-Israel campaign anti-Zionist, pro-Palestinian, or anti-Jewish—or some combination of these three? How does it affect us, as American Jews—and what are some potential strategies and resources that can help us respond to these attacks on Israel’s legitimacy?

Torahthon 2.0 is an evening of Jewish learning from Herzl-Ner Tamid and Temple De Hirsch Sinai, with support from the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and co-sponsorship by two dozen other area organizations and congregations. The evening also features dinner, havdallah, a keynote Address by Rivy Poupko Kletenik, and a community "shuk" of Judaica gifts, books, jewelry, crafts and sweets for sale. The full course catalog is available here, and the registration form here. Sign up for Course A1 during the first session (6:50-7:50 p.m.) 


Coming Up....

Next month's Israel Current Events discussions will be at Temple B'nai Torah (November 4 at noon and Nov. 5 at 7:00 p.m.), The Summit (November 19 at 7:30 p.m.) and at Temple Beth El (December 6, 10:30 a.m.). We will also launch at Herzl-Ner Tamid on December 7 & 8; the 7-session series requires advance registration (and $100 fee). Save the dates now, and watch for details in next month's update.

As always, I welcome your input. Please contact me by email or through my website with any questions or suggestions for future topics.


I'm available for more speaking!

I welcome a chance to engage with additional groups and forums. Is your synagogue, community group, book club, or any other organization interested in having an informed and open discussion about Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Would you like to learn more about the settlements debate, the refugee problem, or the different viewpoints regarding Israel within the Jewish community? Would you like to bring the Israel Current Events series to an additional audience? I can also customize topics and format to any group and forum. Contact me (or just reply to this message), with no obligation, to discuss possibilities.

You are welcome to share and forward this message and to invite others to attend. If you have received this notice second-hand, you can sign up to join this mailing list.


Nevet Basker
Broader View: Israel Resource Center
(425) 681-5545

For information and resources about Israel, please visit my Web site,, or “Like” my Facebook page at Subscribe to the newsletter for monthly updates and analysis!