Netivot Shalom’s Israel Focus Group: the V’Zot Yisrael Committee, וזאת ישראל

What we stand for

  • Israel is the Jewish homeland
  • We approach it with love
  • We are committed to its
    survival and security

  • Promote our community’s
    identity with Israel
  • Integrate identity with Israel into the life of our community through prayer, awareness, knowledge, programming and symbolic acts.
  • Bring our community together by emphasizing a positive perspective

Congregation Netivot Shalom’s V’Zot Yisrael Committee and CNS Family and Youth Programming enthusiastically invite you to join in a community-wide celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel Independence Day, on Tuesday, May 2. You can fill your passport with stamps by visiting Israel-themed activity booths, including writing letters to lone soldiers in Israel (which will be delivered), an Israeli Army-style obstacle course, Israel-themed Jewpardy, and more! Glenn Massarano and Claire Sherman will lead an Israeli dance session for all ages. Dinner will be Eli’s Israeli Street-Style Falafel Bar, and the evening will conclude with a concert by the Lama Lo Trio, returning to CNS to offer songs about Israel’s diverse landscape and life. The evening begins at 5:15 and concludes by 8 pm. Please sign up for dinner and/or concert using Brown Paper Tickets or leave a check at the office. See our flyer for details. CNS is located at 1316 University Avenue in Berkeley.



Monthly Sunday Events
V’zot Yisrael presents monthly Sunday 10 – 11:45 programs featuring:

  • Israeli speakers – graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, and professors giving informal lectures in their area of expertise
  • Programs by Netivot Shalom members with Israel expertise or experience
  • Film and music evening programs

May 7: From Love to Anger: Poems and Songs about Israel from Rabbi Yehuda HaLevy to the Present (click here for more info), with Yafit Shriki Megadish, M.A.
Yafit Megidish, M.A in Hebrew Literature, will lead us on a “walk” through Israeli Hebrew poetry: from poems by Yehuda Halevi, one of the greatest medieval Spanish Hebrew poets who moved to Israel, to the first years of Israel as a young country as expressed in “Po Be’eretz Chemdat Avot”- Here In The Land Of Our Forefathers (Isral Dosmn and Hanina Karchevsky).This was a period full of love for the earth, full of pride, and Zionism.

From there we will move through the years, observing the differences in word usage, the tone used, and the attitudes revealed in the poems as they refer to Israel. We will read songs that were written during the wars, by Ehud Manor, Haim Guri, and Naomi Shemer, lamenting the lives of their children who died for their country.

Finally we will hear and learn about the protest songs by Aviv Gefen, Micha Shitrit, Ariya Sivan and more that tell us about some of the reactions to current challenges facing Israelis today.


Monthly Sunday Evening Israeli Films

Sunday evenings at 5:30


Book group

The Book Group meets every other month to discuss books by Israeli authors.  Literature is one of Israel’s most interesting and successful “exports.” Join us in reading a variety of Israeli authors — the discussion is lively in the CNS library on the second Tuesday of every other month, 7:30 – 9:00.

May 9: “The English Teacher”  by Atir


Chug Ivrit

Hebrew intermediate conversation group, 1st & 3rd Sun 12-1:30 in the shul library with teacher/morah Yafit Shriki Megadish. Attend a session and see if it’s right for you!
If you are interested in organizing a beginning Hebrew class, contact

The V’zot Yisrael Committee is starting a Beginning Modern Hebrew conversation class If you are interested in signing up, please contact Dorothea ( or Joan Borkow ( The only requirement is that you know how to read Hebrew. See details in the shabbat sheet and on the flyer.


Useful links:

Israel’s 24-hour English News Internet Television Station:
It is a 24hour news feed (from the Israeli perspective) and is intended to rival CNN, Al-Jazeera, BBC, etc. and it covers world news but also has a specific Israel news section.


News (English versions listed)


USA groups

  • – J Street – The Political Home for Pro-Israel, Pro-peace Americans
  • – AIPAC – America’s Pro-Israel Lobby
  • – New Israel Fund – works for equality and democracy for all Israelis.
  •‎ – Hadassah – Women’s Zionist Organization noted for health care and hospitals in Israel
  • – Camera – Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America – US-based media-monitoring organization battling “anti-Israeli bias in the media”.




Videos about Israel

Tel Aviv port wins prestigious European award


Did you know

Israeli, Muslim and Christian High School students, 72 in all met at the Israel Circus School in Kfar Yoshua, learned to touch and support each other by performing four circus acts;  trapeze, rope climbing, trampoline acrobatics and juggling. At the end, each group put on a performance, and  more importantly, attitudes changed, trust was established and friendships formed.

FoodScan 3000, an Israeli company,  has developed a hand held advanced sensor  that can detect the presence of contaminants and related chemicals in food in just three seconds before anyone can see or smell them.   It detects a change in quality at any level, and can provide a relative indication of the contamination level of cheese, milk, fruit, vegetables, meat and other foods, protecting the public before someone becomes ill from eating contaminated food.  The device is receiving world wide attention.