Community Survey on Israel: Debriefing Results and Finding a Way Forward

Thank you to everyone who came to our recent community conversation: “Community Survey on Israel: Debriefing Results and Finding a Way Forward”. We had a tremendous response with over 90 people registered! We are grateful to all who came out to participate, to the organizing committee, and to our volunteer facilitators.

The evening began with an overview of the analysis of the results of our community survey sent out in February. We then broke into small, facilitated discussion groups where we explored three primary themes based on responses in our survey: 

  • Responses on and about experiences of antisemitism
  • Responses on the DJC Public Position on Israel Guidelines
  • Responses to the DJC publicly addressing issues related to Israel

At the conclusion of each of these discussion themes, participants were invited to share verbally and on post-it notes their reflections and desires for how the DJC could respond to their experience and needs. At the end of the small group discussions, we also asked participants to share their suggestions for upcoming programs and events related to Israel and the conflict.  

These conversations weren’t easy. Participants shared a diversity of opinions, which were at times in strong contrast to other group members. Participants also shared their sadness, grief, and anger concerning the ongoing war, and global and local responses that have occurred since October 7th. There was both frustration and support for what the DJC has or hasn’t done since October 7th. There were suggestions for how to improve or revise some of the survey questions.

We also witnessed deep listening, patience, respect, compassion, and gratitude for the opportunity to come together and share our views and emotions as a community. We were struck by the beauty of seeing firsthand how the DJC continues to be a place where diverse viewpoints can be expressed, heard, and accepted – even when we powerfully disagree. It was an important reminder that we are a community that is willing to wrestle with each other and within ourselves in the midst of challenging times, while demonstrating generosity of spirit and care for each other.

At the conclusion of the community gathering, we voiced our commitment to have ongoing community conversations for members of the DJC on the topics and themes that emerged through the small group discussions. In addition, a subgroup of the organizing committee is synthesizing programming suggestions for consideration for next year. As we all take a break for the summer, we’ll continue to reflect on how the DJC community can continue to hold complexity and care and move forward together in the coming year.

Warmly,

Saara Greene, Sarah Neville and Marlene Greenberg (co-chairs of the DJC Board)

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