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Jews, evangelicals search for ways to discuss Israel
Debra Rubin, Religion News Service
May 03, 2011
2 MIN READ TIME

Jews, evangelicals search for ways to discuss Israel

Jews, evangelicals search for ways to discuss Israel
Debra Rubin, Religion News Service
May 03, 2011

WASHINGTON — American Jews and evangelicals need a formal mechanism

to discuss their differences and similarities on support for Israel, leaders

from both sides said April 28 at the American Jewish Committee’s Global Forum

2011.

Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the

Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, spoke alongside Gary Bauer,

president of American Values and a board member of Christians United for

Israel, about Jewish groups’ concerns over evangelical support for Israel.

Much of the concern, Schonfeld said, has centered on

theological beliefs — that “the current state of Israel is part of the

(biblical) end of days scenario,” according to Christians, while Jews “value

life in its present tense,” she said.

In addition, while Jewish groups value evangelicals’ strong

support for Israeli security, the two sides tend to differ on such issues as rights

for women and gays, and religion in the public sphere.

The differences also extend to how to support Israel. While Schonfeld

said supporting Israel also means questioning its policies, Bauer called it “irresponsible

to lecture Israelis on what they should or shouldn’t do.”

Nonetheless, Schonfeld said the “organized Jewish community

does not really have a structure, a way to deepen these relationships.” There

is, she said, “a need for more.”

Bauer agreed. “The need for continuing dialogue is

incredibly important,” he said.

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