‘Jewish and Palestinian Voices for Peace Tour’ announced

The Jewish and Palestinian Voices for Peace Tour will bring Jewish and Palestinian peacemakers to Mennonite communities in April and May. Representatives of local Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) chapters, including Rabbi Linda Holtzman of Philadelphia and Rabbi Brand Rosen of Chicago, will speak together with Jonathan Kuttab, a Mennonite and prominent Palestinian human rights attorney.

They will explore prospects for peace in our new political climate, and highlight diverse Jewish and Palestinian perspectives on Israel-Palestine. They will also invite their audiences to take part in a shared vision of what Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews need to live free, dignified and whole lives in the land.

The tour is one effort to implement the Mennonite Church USA “Israel/Palestine Partners in Peacemaking” resolution, which was adopted in 2015. (A separate resolution on Israel/Palestine that was tabled at the 2015 Convention is coming back to delegates this summer following further study and revision.) The goal of the tour is to raise the profile of Jewish and Palestinian groups in America who are working for peace in Israel-Palestine, according to Jonathan Brenneman, one of the tour organizers. “We are especially excited that Mennonites will be introduced to JVP members who live in their communities,” he said. The tour will make stops in North Carolina (April 7-9), Kansas (April 17-19), Eastern Pennsylvania (April 21-23), Ohio (May 7-10), Northern Indiana (May 11-13), Illinois (May 13-15) and Virginia (May 24-28).

JVP is a prominent peace organization with nearly 50 chapters across the United States. Their members are “inspired by Jewish tradition to work together for peace, social justice, equality, human rights, respect for international law and a U.S. foreign policy based on these ideals.” Kuttab is a human rights lawyer and lecturer on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He has served as the lawyer for Mennonite Central Committee and Christian Peacemaker Teams’ Palestine teams, on the boards of the Jerusalem-based Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center and the Palestinian human rights organization Al Haq.

For more information about events happening in your area, contact Jonathan Brenneman, jonathanb@mennoniteusa.org or 574-523-3086.