On Thursday, April 23, 2015, Rabbi Deborah Waxman, President of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Susan Herbst, President of the University of Connecticut, led a conversation at the Konover Auditorium in the Dodd Center examining the role of Zionism in today’s North American Jewish life. The public dialog fittingly took place on the 67th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel.
Turnout was impressive with a mix of students, faculty, and members of the general public who were all able to ask questions. Attention was paid to the need for a civil discourse, with both Herbst and Waxman noting that the current polarity within American political circles often renders discussion of sensitive topics difficult if not impossible.
In keeping with the inclusive nature of Reconstructionist Judaism, Waxman invited a celebration of multivocalities and presented an optimistic view of the future of Zionism in America, urging a transition from reaction to renewal in response to the Holocaust and noting that from the standpoint of progressive Judaism, it is possible to practice Zionism in America despite conflicting positions with the Israeli government, suggesting that a post-ethnic moment is needed to undercut antisemitism.
Did you miss the event? View it here.