Episcopalians Gather to Aid Jewish Cause
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
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