Mideast Peace


The Boston Workmen’s Circle Middle East Working Group presents 


Through a Different Lens: 

Women’s Perspectives on Israel-Palestine 


Three presentations that report on the experience of Israeli Jewish, Palestinian, and American Jewish women as they grapple with life, politics, and struggles for justice in contemporary Israel and Palestine.


Mizrahi Women’s Struggle for Equality 

Sunday, November 16, 4pm-6pm 
Smadar Lavie is the author of Wrapped in the Flag of Israel. An outspoken scholar and activist for gender equity and social justice for both Israelis and Palestinians, she co-founded Ahoti (=Sistah), Israel’s feminists of color movement. Her book discusses the difficulties of Mizrahi feminist resistance, given the entanglements with and dependency of Mizrahi women on Ashkenazi Zionism. She is a scholar in residence at the Beatrice Bain Research Group, UC Berkeley, and a visiting professor at the Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century, University College Cork. In 2013 she won the “Heart at East” Honor Plaque for lifetime service to Mizrahi communities in Israel-Palestine.
Empowering Palestinian Women to Access Health Care 
Sunday November 23, 4pm-6pm 
Rafah Anabtawi, director of the Kayan Feminist Organization since 2013, is a Palestinian Israeli who will speak of her work to enable Palestinian women to gain access to quality health care as one crucial part of their struggle for social equality. A social worker, Rafah also manages a center to combat drug abuse in Nazareth and facilitates groups in cooperation with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. The Kayan Feminist Organization’s goal is to eliminate gender disparity among Arab women in Israel. It envisions a secure and just society, in which Arab women in Israel enjoy full and equitable opportunities for self-expression and self-actualization. Presented in association with Healing Across the Divide. 
Overcoming Fear as a Path to Justice 
Monday December 15, 7pm-9pm 
Penny Rosenwasser is the author of Hope into Practice, Jewish women choosing justice despite our fears, which just received the Association for Women in Psychology 2014 Jewish Caucus Award for Scholarship. Penny "challenges us to ask what Jewishness could be without suffering or victimhood—questions asked with joy, not shame" (-Marjorie Dove Kent). Penny's interactive story-filled presentation links personal healing with working for the liberation of Jews and of Palestinians. Inviting us to face our fears without acting on them, and to use our privilege to shift power, her book is an activist's call to repair the world.
All events will be held at 1762 Beacon Street, Brookline


Our work in support of a just peace between Israel and the Palestinian people is guided by principles developed by the Middle East Working Group and adopted by the Board of Boston Workmen’s Circle:

  • Ending the occupation
  • Establishing two viable states, a homeland for the Jewish people and a homeland for the Palestinian people
  • An end to the violence on all sides
  • Making room for a diversity of views
We are proud to stand up as a progressive voice on Israel/Palestine in the Greater Boston Jewish community. But that doesn’t mean we all agree on the path to security and peace. We strive to foster an open and respectful environment in which a range of views can be aired and discussed. Through educational programs, dialogue groups, and membership forums, we grapple with many of the tough issues Jews face today concerning the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
For more information, contact committee co-chair Stan Habib at stanleyhabib@msn.com.