Students Promoting Israel Culture and Information Unrecognized
SPICI's Mission Statement
We want to create a safe space for dialog and ideas about Israel/Palestine on campus. In addition to this safe space we promote learning about Israel culture and politics through programming and meetings.
Hampshire's Students Promoting Israel Culture and Information (SPICI) is part of a network of student activists organizing on campuses across North America for social justice and peace in Israel/Palestine. SPICI was created to provide guidance, education and resources to students who seek to impart a progressive voice into the campus debate on Israel. Extremist voices pushing rigid “pro-Israel” and “pro-Palestinian” positions have come to dominate the discourse on many campuses, obscuring the issues and alienating significant numbers of Jewish and moderate students.
Because of our connection to Israel, we believe it is our duty to create a new vision for the Jewish state. As campus activists and members of the Jewish community, our strength lies in our ability to be active and critical leaders. We are committed to creating an alternative approach to Israel advocacy that embraces open dialogue and constructive activism, and that warrants critical analysis of policies, whether Israeli, Palestinian, American or other.
Join our listserve!
Israeli Music Radio :נא להקשיב
Tune into YURT RADIO (http://yurt/Site/index.html) every Tuesday from 8 to 9pm for a wide selection of Israeli music, hosted by SPICI signers Nat and Amir!
שולחן עברית (Hebrew-Speaking Table)
Wednesdays at noon, we gather around a table in the back room of the dining commons and chat in Hebrew over lunch with Israeli fellow Lipaz Ben-Yizhaq.
Join our listserve!
2,000 Years of Antisemitism and Counting
A presentation by Hampshire professor and historian James Wald on the history of antisemitism, including but not exclusive to its modern manifestations in within anti-Zionist movements. Followed by a moderated question-and-answer session.
Israeli Chocolate Night!
An Israeli chocolate tasting, complete with m'kupelet hot chocolate!
Noa Baum, Storyteller
Israeli storyteller Noa Baum will be performing her piece entitled A Land Twice Promised in which she begins a heartfelt dialogue with a Palestinian woman while living in the United States. She weaves together their memories, and their mothers' stories, to create a moving testimony that illuminates the complex and contradictory history and emotions surrounding Jerusalem, for Israelis and Palestinians alike.
Noa Baum takes us behind the rhetoric and headlines to hear the true stories of four women, 2 Israelis and 2 Palestinians. In the process, we experience the most precious ingredient for the resolution of any major conflict: mutual compassion.
She will also be facilitating a workshop entitled Risking Peace: Storytelling to Foster Dialogue
"Experience the storytelling model Noa developed to help build bridges for peace and dialogue in your community. Learn how listening to and telling the story of "the other" can help break through stereotypes and rhetoric as you find compassion and the possibility of change."
Arik Ascherman speaks on Israel and Human Rights
Rabbis for Human Rights is an organization of over 100 Israeli rabbis who support of the human rights of all people, Jews and Palestinians, in Israel and the occupied territories. Rabbi Ascherman, the Executive Director since 1998, has joined with Palestinian farmers to defend their harvesting of olives and grapes when this has been threatened by Jewish settlers or Israeli government actions, has assisted Palestinian families by physically blocking bulldozers from demolishing their homes, and has fought for the rights of immigrants and the poor in his tireless work for justice. Born in Erie, Pennsylvania, and a 1981 graduate of Harvard University, Rabbi Ascherman settled in Israel in 1994, where he has dedicated himself to the fulfillment of the teaching that all human beings are created in the image of God.
Co-sponsors: Civil Liberties & Public Policy Program, Euro Studies, Law Program, Peace & World Security Studies, Spiritual Life Program, Students Promoting Israel Culture and Information, Western MA Chapter of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom
This program will be November 9, 2009. 7:30 PM in the Main lecture Hall
Author Evan Fallenberg will speak at Hampshire College on November 11 at 5:30 p.m. in the West Lecture Hall of Franklin Patterson Hall. His talk is titled Pigeons, Punks, Pansies and Pervs: Literary Heroes in Contemporary Israeli Literature and is supported by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. The public is invited and admission is free.
With its exciting mix of eclectic stories and characters that are unique, troubled, searching, sexy, and dynamic, Israeli literature is flourishing at home and abroad. The audience for this lecture by a U.S.-born Israeli writer and translator will meet a few of those characters, learn what they have to say about Israeli society, and watch as they undergo a transformation to meet an international audience.
Fallenberg is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, and a graduate of Georgetown University and the MFA program in creative writing at Vermont College. He has lived in Israel since 1985, where he writes, translates and teaches. His first novel, Light Fell (Soho Press, 2008), won the American Library Association's Barbara Gittings Stonewall Book Award for Literature and the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction, and was shortlisted for the National Jewish Book Award in fiction and a Lambda Literary Award for Debut Fiction.
Fallenberg's recent translations include Ron Leshem's Beaufort, Batya Gur's Murder in Jerusalem, Alon Hilu's Death of a Monk and The House of Dajani, and Meir Shalev's A Pigeon and a Boy, winner of the 2007 National Jewish Book Award for fiction and a finalist for the PEN Translation Prize. Fallenberg is an instructor in the Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Bar-Ilan University.
Film Screening: Encounter Point
An inspiring film about nonviolent organizations working in Israeli and Palestinian civil society.
Speaker: Yonatan Cwik
Hebrew University student Yonatan Cwik spoke about his decision to refuse to enlist in the Israeli army and the challenges he and other young Israelis face in making this decision.
Film Screening: In the Land of the Settlers Part I: Overview of the Settler Issues
with Guest Speaker Kobi Skolnik
The first episode in the series gives an overview of the settler issues in Israel/Palestine. Guest speaker Kobi Skolnik, a former settler and soldier in the Israel Defense Forces, spoke about how his experiences turned him from a right-wing extremist into a peace activist.
Speaker Dotan Greenvald of "Breaking the Silence"
Tuesday, March 4 7:00 PM FPH West Lecture Hall
Sponsored by Hampshire UPZ and Western Massachusetts Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
A presentation by Israeli soldier Dotan Greenvald with photographs and testimonials from a traveling exhibit based on the experiences of Israeli soldiers in the occupied territories.
Dotan was born and raised Kiryat Yam near in Haifa. He was an activist in a socialist youth movement, “Hanoar Ha’Oved Ve’Halomed” and he volunteered in community education for a year before the army. Drafted to the IDF in August 2002, Dotan was placed at the Nahal Brigade and trained as a sniper. Out of the three years of service, he spent two years in the Occupied Territories, specifically in Hebron and the third year educating youth before their army service. He is presently studying to become a tour guide in Israel, currently living in Tzorah, a kibbutz near Beit Shemesh. Dotan has been active in Breaking the Silence since the day he was discharged.
Breaking the Silence is an organization of veteran Israeli soldiers that collects testimonies of soldiers who served in the Occupied Territories during the Second Intifadah. Cases of abuse towards Palestinians, looting, and destruction of property have been the norm for years, but are still excused as military necessities, or explained as extreme and unique cases. Their testimonies portray a different and grim picture of questionable orders in many areas regarding Palestinian civilians. These demonstrate the depth of corruption which is spreading in the Israeli military. Discharged soldiers who return to civilian life discover the gap between the reality which they encountered in the Territories , and the silence which they encounter at home. In order to become a civilian again, soldiers are forced to ignore their past experiences. Breaking the Silence voices the experiences of those soldiers, in order to force Israeli society to address the reality which it created.
Kick-off event/meeting 2009
Come learn about peace in the Middle East programming. Pro-Israel/Pro-Palestine/Pro-peace. Food will be served. Learn about the Obama Administration's policies toward the Middle East, and how you can get involved. There will also be an info session about the national J Street Conference that is happening in October.
When: Sept. 17, 7 PM
Where: FPH lobby
This was very successful! There were 9 attendees, and we discussed details about the J Street Conference
A day of Solidari-T
This Sunday (10/18) SPICI, Students Promoting Israel Culture and Information, is organizing a Day of Solidari-T for students, family, and visitors who identify as pro-Israel in any way, at any level.
What do we mean by Solidari-T? Wear an Israel-positive T-shirt! Anything from an IDF shirt to the one with Coca-Cola written in Hebrew characters. The idea behind this event is not to get any political message across; it is simply to show support for Hampshire's pro-Israel community. The goal is to make Hampshire's campus an environment that is safe for everyone and tolerant of every voice - even when it comes to Israel - and, of course, to let everyone on campus who supports Israel in any way see one another: this is about being visible, rather than political.
Don't have a T-shirt? Then make one! SPICI will have a Solidari-T Station between FPH and the Library Lawn throughout the day: anyone who wants to participate or learn more about SPICI's Day of Solidari-T can stop by our table and make their own Israel-positive T-shirt for free!
If you have friends or family members who might be interested in this event, please pass along the information - especially if they are at Hampshire this weekend. A Day of Solidari-T is for friends and family as much as for Hampshire students, and everyone is welcome to participate! Spread the word!
As always, please contact the SPICI signers - Tal (yts07), Nat (nlb07), and Staci (sra08) - with any questions, suggestions, requests, or concerns, and tell your parents/friends to do the same.