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With AIPAC, Rabbi Black briefed on Iran, pluralism

Rabbi Joe BlackTemple Emanuel’s Rabbi Joe Black returned from Israel late last week, after a “whirlwind” mission to the Jewish state sponsored by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

The seven-day mission was designed for American “progressive” rabbis, a total of 19 of whom, split evenly between the Reform and Conservative movements, made the trip.

Some of those rabbis, Rabbi Black told the Intermountain Jewish News this week, might have started to get the impression that AIPAC is tilting toward the political right, perhaps because of the powerful lobby’s firm opposition to the deal recently reached between world powers and Iran over that nation’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons.

Speaking for himself, Rabbi Black insisted that he is not growing doubtful over AIPAC’s political leanings.

“I’m a strong supporter of AIPAC,” he said, adding that his recent trip to Israel convinced him that the organization “has contacts with all segments of Israeli society.”

The American rabbis’ itinerary seems to confirm that.

The delegation met with Israeli liberals and conservatives from the political realm, academia, the media and LGBT activists from politically conservative and religious communities.

The rabbis also visited Ramallah in the West Bank, conversed with head PA negotiator Saeb Erekat, and conferred with representatives of Israel’s settler’s movement, the Ethiopian Jewish community and Joint Arab List political party.

The rest of this article is available in the July 31 IJN print and digital edition only. Contact Carol to order your copy at or subscribe to our online e-Edition.

Chris Leppek

IJN Assistant Editor |

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