Recent Testimonials about Our Dialogue Programs
"In preparation for Visions and Voices, an educational seminar in Israel designed for first-year students of the Jewish Theological Seminary’s William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education, the Jewish Dialogue Group visited our institution to expose us to the experience of dialoguing about divisive issues pertaining to the Israel-Palestine Conflict. Our work with the JDG allowed participants of the seminar to not only get to know each other on a much deeper level, but we also truly embraced the notion of mutual understanding during our trip to Israel. Once in Israel we were exposed firsthand to the many complex and nuanced issues of the region, including the status of Israeli minorities, the plight of the migrant workers and refugees, the settlements in the West Bank, and the recent Israeli elections. Due in large part to the dialogue protocol we learned from the JDG, our conversations in Israel during the seminar and back in the USA about these deeply complicated issues have emphasized active listening, speaking considerately, openness to learning about the views of others, and articulate reflection."
The Jewish Theological Seminary, William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education
Master of Arts Candidate in Jewish Education and Ancient Judaism ‘13
"When I arrived at Swarthmore and began asking students about the Israel conversation on campus, the refrain I heard over and over was: 'We don't want to touch it — it's way too hot.' Immediately after the Jewish Dialogue workshop, that refrain disappeared. Through the careful, thoughtful, and respectful facilitation of Mitch Chanin and Reba Carmel, students discovered that they had a great deal in common, and that they were genuinely curious about one another's experiences, opinions, and questions. Students also felt safe enough to share their anxieties and areas of ignorance, ambivalence, and ongoing learning. Today, the students who participated in the dialogue are actively pursuing new ways in which to open up the conversation, and are seeking to make bridges beyond the Jewish community in the effort to develop meaningful, respectful Israel discourse on campus."
Rabbinic Intern, Swarthmore College Hillel
"The Jewish Dialogue Group facilitated two dialogue sessions for AVODAH corps members in Washington, DC over the past couple of years. Watching our corps members have very honest discussions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict really highlights the great work that the Jewish Dialogue Group is doing. This is an issue that can easily divide a group, however I have only seen the opposite from our corps members. Despite their initial trepidation, they shared their ideas and experiences openly and appreciated each other's opinions. After these initial conversations, they felt that they had a good foundation to build on. Corps members told me in subsequent weeks that they have continued the conversations they began during these programs. The JDG facilitators who led the programs were extremely thoughtful, professional, and supportive. JDG does fantastic work and I hope that more organizations and individuals in the Jewish community take advantage of this terrific resource!"
—Josh Neirman, AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps
Program Associate in Washington, DC