The Hardest Conversation
The Hardest Conversation
Want to have a screaming match about Israel? Neither do we.

Let’s Talk

About Israel

The Hardest Conversation seeks to offer a safe and anonymous space for Jews to have conversations about Israel that many of us work very hard to avoid. These conversations are difficult, but we believe that they are deeply important. Our volunteers are here to connect with anyone who doesn’t feel that they can safely talk to folks in their families, peer groups, or broader communities without facing reprisal. We get it because we’ve been there. The Hardest Conversation is a supportive and non-judgmental space for anyone who wants to talk about the hard questions.

 
 
 
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“We’re having Shabbat dinner and my stomach is turning and I can’t eat. There is such a frightening energy in the room because of what is being said, and I’m nauseous. I can’t even tell you. Because it’s prejudice. For me, it’s blind prejudice that I’m hearing.”

 
 
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Want to have a screaming

match about Israel?

Neither do we.

We understand how difficult it can be to talk about Israel in our families, workplaces, and Jewish communities. In different ways, we’ve all felt pressure to be silent. That’s not okay. Just ask the Patriarchs. When Jacob wrestled with the angel, he was given the name Israel (“to contend with God”), so challenging power couldn’t be deeper in our community’s roots.

 

The Phone Line

 
 

If you’re looking to get into a nasty argument, you’ve come to the wrong place.

As far as we’re concerned, no one should have to fear being labelled a traitor or a “self-hater” when they talk about Israel.

The Jewish community’s long tradition of valuing healthy debate is something that many of us take pride in. When did we start having to feel scared to ask each other questions? We believe that every Jew has a right to question the community’s most deeply held beliefs and political positions, and to receive a straight and respectful answer in return. That’s what you’ll get if you connect with one of our Jewish volunteers. Sure, our volunteers have opinions and they’re open to sharing them, but this isn’t about trying to convince you of anything. You can take the conversation in whatever direction you’d like.

IF YOU:

  • Are re-evaluating your position on the situation in Israel/Palestine;

  • Have encountered information that worries or confuses you, but have no one to ask about it;

  • Are looking to process your feelings and experiences;

  • Want to learn more, but you’re not sure where to start;

  • Just have a question;

LET’S TALK.

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Educational Resources

We’re compiling links to articles, testimonials, short stories, videos, and tips for having challenging conversations with your friends and family. If you have other educational resources that might be helpful for us to share, let us know!

 

You Never Told Me

This site shares the experiences of Jewish summer camp, day school, and youth group alumni who grew up in institutions that ignored or justified the Occupation.

younevertoldme.org/

'Self-hating Jews' and 'Hateful Settlers': Can We Jews Salvage Our Civility?

“Growing up in New York with grandparents and relatives across Israel, I saw in my own family the complexities of values-driven dialogue - of what I then just thought of as normal dinner table conversation.

When I was 11, I told my grandfather in Jerusalem that I’d begun to be interested in Israeli politics…”

Read the Op-Ed in Haaretz

A Guide to Difficult Conversations about Israel and Palestine

For those of us with loved ones with whom we don’t see eye-to-eye, Pesach can be a challenging time. It can also be an opportunity.

Not only to convince, but to listen. To model the patience, clarity, and passion that inspires people to be their best selves.

jewishvoiceforpeace.org/conversations/

 
 
 

Contact Us

If you’d like to find a time a conversation, or you have any questions at all, please be in touch.

We know that it can be risky to talk about this stuff. That’s why we’re here. We take confidentiality seriously, and conversations can be anonymous. (You can put a pseudonym in the contact form below).

You can reach us by email or through the form below. We’d be happy to talk through Skype or over the phone.

Email: hardestconversation@gmail.com

 

Contact Form

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