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Episcopalians Gather to Aid Jewish Cause

Metro Boston
April 22, page 8
by Christina Wallace

A group of Episcopalians and Jews gathered last night at a Newton temple to show their support for Israel, several months after three Episcopalian bishops drew criticism for protesting at a pro-Palestinian rally in Boston.

The event was the first gathering of the Episocopal-Jewish Alliance for Israel, a group organized in reaction to the bishops' actions, according to Dennis Hale, a lay Episcopalian leader at Grace Church in Medford and a professor at Boston College. Hale spearheaded the event and helped establish the alliance.

"The bishops hold Israel primarily responsible for the conflict and we feel that is not accurate," Hale said. "The purpose of the group is to promote a different understanding of the Mideast conflict than what is being promoted by the bishops."

In November, three Episcopalian bishops protested outside the Israeli Consulate in Boston, a move that frustrated many Episcopalians who did not share their views.

"We want to reassure Jews that not all Episcopalians agree with the bishops," Hale said.

Hale organized the event after a letter he wrote to the Boston Globe in reaction to the rally garnered overwhelming response.

He worked with the Boston-Israel Action Committee to plan a panel discussion, which included Rabbu William Hamilton of Kehillith Israel in Brookline and Father Keith Roderick, an Episcopalian clergy member from Chicago.

The Epsicopal-Jewish Alliance for Israel, according to its founding principles, believe "the fundamental cause of the conflict in the Middle East is the Arab refusal to accept the reality of a non-Muslim state in the region."


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