UUJME offering travel scholarships for young adult UUs

UUs for Justice in the Middle East (UUJME) has decided to offer travel scholarships to young adult UUs for trips to the Middle East to enable them to take part in activities to help further the cause of peace, justice, and human rights in Israel-Palestine.  We selected two applicants for funding on trips that they largely designed themselves. We look forward to updating you on their journeys.  Scholarship applicants were able to request up to $4000 in funding assistance to help cover trip costs. Read more ...

Get a 20% discount on Beacon Press's new book by Rashid Khalidi and support UUJME!

The UUA's Beacon Press has just released a timely new book from author and Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi entitled Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East.  In light of President Obama's recent trip to Israel-Palestine, this book could not have come at a more opportune time, and UUJME has just signed an agreement with Beacon Press to offer a 20% discount and free shipping to all UUJME members, supporters, and contacts!  What's more, UUJME will receive a 10% rebate on all books purchased through this agreement.  Learn more!

2014 Sermon Contest Theme Announced

The theme for the 2014 UUJME Sermon Contest is "Unitarian Universalist Values and the Pursuit of a Just Peace for Israelis and Palestinians". Click here for information on entering the contestThe contest is open to all ministers, seminarians, and laypersons, so if you know of someone who might be interesting in entering the contest, please make sure they know about it.   The winning sermon will be awarded a $500 prize!

Note: No winner was selected this year. 

UUJME Fall 2013 Newsletter is here!

Read film and book reviews, updates on divestment efforts and local chapter activites, a report from the last summer's UUJME trip to Israel-Palestine, and more in the latest UUJME Newsletter!

Israel-Palestine one of six CSAI topics under consideration!

UU member congregations are now considering six difference Congregational Study/Action Issues (CSAIs), among them one that UUJME proposed, titled "UU Values and the Pursuit of a Just Peace for Israelis and Palestinians".  Congregations may vote to select up to five CSAIs that will appear on the final agenda at the 2014 UUA General Assembly in Providence, RI, where delegates will choose one CSAI that will be sent to member congregations for four years of study, reflection, and action, during which time a Statement of Conscience can be approved by General Assembly delegates. 

This is a great opportunity to finally get UUs to talk seriously about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict!  UUJME is encouraging our members, friends, and supporters to help raise awareness of the CSAI voting process in their own congregations and to foster support for the Israel-Palestine CSAI among their fellow congregants.  UUJME has published a special edition of our newsletter that members, friends, and supporters can use to help gain congregational support for our CSAI.  The deadline for congregational voting is Feb 3, 2014, so there is little time to waste!

2013 UUJME Sermon Contest winning sermons now available

Transcripts of the winning sermons from the 2013 UUJME Sermon Contest, on the topic Confronting Religious and Cultural Entitlement in Israel-Palestine, are now available!  The winning sermon, by Galina L. De Roeck, is titled "The Promised Land", while the runner up sermon, by Heather Concannon, is tlted "Living Somewhere".

Ambassador Oren needs to hear from us!

http://forward.com/workspace/assets/images/articles/s-bedouin-112211.jpgLast year at our “Justice General Assembly” in Phoenix, UUs voted to reject the Doctrine of Discovery, the colonial-era legal concept asserting that colonial powers have the right to confiscate land from non-European indigenous peoples.   The Doctrine of Discovery was used by the U.S. government as the legal basis for its forcible confiscation of Native American land and subsequent transfer of Native Americans to reservations.
 
Sadly, however, the Doctrine of Discovery appears to be alive and well today.  Read more ...

 

UUJME Spring 2013 Newsletter is here

Read about UUJME's General Assembly plans; an update on the TIAA-CREF divestment campaign; 2013's UUJME Sermon Contest winner; the inspiring activism on behalf of justice in Israel-Palestine of several UUs, including an interim minister, a college student, and a retired civil engineer working on water projects in the occupied West Bank; and more in the Spring 2013 UUJME Newsletter!

2013 UUJME Human Rights Trip to Israel/Palestine plans finalized!

UUJME's Don McInnes will again be leading a human rights trip to Israel/Palestine this summer, from June 24 - July 4, 2013.  If you'd like to join the trip, a non-refundable deposit of $250 by March 13 is needed, so act quickly!

Spring 2014 newsletter has arrived!

Read about the CSAI process, evaluating curricula on Israel-Palestine, an open letter to the Pope, a UU minister assigned to the Occupied West Bank as an ecumenical accompanier by the World Council of Churches, chapter news, and more in the UUJME Spring 2014 newsletter.

Winter 2013 Newsletter is here

To read about the Interfaith Boycott Coalition's boycott of SodaStream, an interview with Rabbi Brant Rosen, and more, check out our Winter 2013 Newsletter.

UUJME Fall 2012 Newsletter is now available online

Read about UUJME's activities at the recent UUA "Justice" General Assembly, our upcoming trip to Israel-Palestine, our 2013 Sermon Contest, the work of UUJME chapters and members, and more in our Fall 2012 Newsletter!

4th Annual UUJME Sermon Contest Announcement

The year's sermon contest topic is "Confronting Religious and Cultural Entitlement in Israel-Palestine", inspired by the official repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery at this year's UUA General Assembly in Phoenix.  We encourage anyone, whether clergy or layperson, with an interest in the topic to enter.  And please make sure your congregation and minister are aware of the contest!  Click here to view the contest details.

 

2012 Sermon Contest winning sermon available!

You can now see the video of Jill Baker's winning sermon presentation at the awards luncheon in Phoenix during GA in June.  The text of Jill's sermon, titled "Staying Awake and Overcoming:  A Unitarian Universalist Response to the Israel-Palestine Conflict", is also available, as is the text of Debbie Espen's runner up sermon, titled "How My World Was Turned Upside Down".

The videos and transcripts for all three UUJME Sermon Contests are now online and ad-free!

UUJME Spring 2012 Newsletter is here

Read about our upcoming events at General Assembly in Phoenix, our statement on divestment, chapter activities and more in the UUJME Spring 2012 Newsletter.

UUJME Fall 2011 Newsletter is now available

Read an account of UUJME's July, 2011 human rights/fact-finding trip to Israel-Palestine, an update on local chapter activity, and more in UUJME's Fall 2011 newsletter.

UUJME Statement on Palestinian Statehood Bid

UUJME is alarmed by the US government's threats to block the upcoming Palestinian statehood petition at the United Nations and to punish Palestinians for asking for UN recognition by withholding US aid.  We urge you to contact President Obama and members of Congress to urge them not to stand in the way of the Palestinians' quest for freedom, dignity, and self-determination. Full statement and government contact information.

 

Watch Hanan Watson deliver her winning sermon!

We managed at the last minute to live stream Hanan Watson's sermon presentation at the UUJME Sermon Contest Award Dinner (great big thanks to board member Dana Ashrawi!).   If you missed it live you can watch it below.  You'll have to watch a short commercial first, unfortunately, but it's well worth it for the free streaming service.  You can also read the transcript of the sermon.  And definitely check out Rev. Jason Lydon's runner-up sermon as well!

Check out UUJME activities at the 2011 UUA General Assembly in Charlotte!

 

UUJME is looking forward to a busy General Assembly just a short time away in Charlotte!  If you will be attending GA, don't forget to check out UUJME's events:  the Sermon Contest Award Dinner on Thursday evening, UUJME's Budrus workshop on Friday, and the UUJME booth in the exhibit hall Wednesday through Sunday.  You still have until June 19 to reserve a spot at the awards dinner and receive a $5 discount on your meal!  Read more ...
 

 

2nd Annual Sermon Contest Winners!

UUJME is excited to announce the winner of the 2nd Annual UUJME Sermon Contest:  Hanan Watson, pictured far left, of All Souls Unitarian in New York City for her sermon entitled, "Waking Up to Shatter the Silence".  Our judges also decide to award a special runner-up position this year to Rev. Jason M. Lydon, pictured left, of Community Church of Boston for his sermon, "Be Not Afraid: Truth Telling and Justice Seeking".  Congratulations to our winners! 

Click here for more details on the contest results as well as information about the Sermon Contest Award Dinner to be held June 23 during the General Assembly in Charlotte, NC.

UUJME Endorses JVP Campaign to Free Palestinian Non-Violent Activist Abdallah Abu Rahmah

UPDATE:  Abdallah Abu Rahmah was released on March 14, 2011 after serving 16 months in prison for organizing demonstrations in Bil'in against the construction of Israel's separation barrier and confiscation of land. 

UUJME has officially signed Jewish Voice for Peace's letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton  urging her to intervene on behalf of Abdallah Abu Rahmah, a human rights activist from Bil'in who was arrested by Israel and imprisoned during an 8-month trial in which he was convicted of "organizing illegal demonstrations" and "incitement".  He will be sentenced on October 10 and faces 10 years in prison.  Abdallah Abu Rahmah is a teacher from Bil'in, the Palestinian town in the occupied West Bank which has seen around 60% of its land confiscated for Israel's illegal separation wall and Jewish-only settlements.  Abu Rahmah is the coordinator of Bil'in's Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, which has staged weekly non-violent demonstrations against the Wall for the last five years.   To sign the letter, as an individual, to Secretary Clinton click here.  To learn more about Abdallah Abu Rahmah, click here.

UUJME Summer 2011 Newsletter is here!

The UUJME Board decided to create a summer newsletter this year to give our members and friends the details about the goings-on at General Assembly in June.  You can read it here.

Spring 2011 Newsletter is here!

The UUJME Spring 2011 Newsletter is now available in PDF format. 

Read about UUJME's activities at the upcoming 2011 General Assembly, our partnership with Jewish Voice for Peace, our upcoming trip to Israel/Palestine, news from our local groups, and more!

UUJME endorses Jewish Voice for Peace's TIAA-CREF divestment initiative

UUJME has officially endorsed Jewish Voice for Peace's initiative to compel TIAA-CREF to divest from companies profiting from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.  A representative from JVP will be present in the UUJME booth, #326, at the exhibit hall at General Assembly to discuss this initiative and other JVP work.  Note that this topic is particularly timely for UUs since the UUA recently announced it was transferring its retirement fund from Fidelity to TIAA-CREF.

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Establishes Gaza Humanitarian Relief Fund

On January 8, 2009, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) established an emergency relief fund for the people of Gaza in light of the Israeli bombardment and invasion. Visit the UUSC web page on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and learn about the current status of the situation in Gaza and the details of the UUSC's relief work there. Please consider finding a way to publicize this fund within your congregation. You might also consider finding a way for your congregation to take up a special collection for this fund, perhaps on a Sunday morning.

Click here to donate to the Gaza Humanitarian Relief Fund.