Progressive Israel advocate Shira Herzog’s fine lessons | Farber

Good profile by Bernie Farber of the late Shira Herzog on both the personal and broader aspects of her character and role. A reminder of the diversity of voices within the Canadian Jewish community, and the different interpretations of “moral clarity”:

Yet personal criticism, even harsh reprimands from Jewish community leadership, never fazed her. She held her ground with the courage of her convictions. She spoke passionately of the need for peace, of the necessity to understand the folly of occupation — and she did so with a strong Zionist heart and a great love for Israel, the country of her birth.

And by doing so she gave us heart. She showed us that progressive-thinking Jews can, as we do right here in Canada, love a country and still be critical of political policies that don’t measure up to the standards of social justice. Like a good teacher she demonstrated that through reason, devoid of rhetoric but filled with fact and research, people will listen. They may not always agree but they will listen.

Indeed David Koschitzky, the National Chair of the Council for Israel and Jewish Affairs the successor agency to both CJC and CIC said it best in the recent Star obituary:

“Her major theme was fostering rapprochement between the Israelis and the Palestinians. One of her strengths was that she was able to balance her progressive views with calls to recognize the existential challenges confronting the Jewish state.”

This was Shira’s greatest gift to Canadian Jewry. Our community was her classroom and no one who came under her tutelage ever forgot the lessons she imparted.

Progressive Israel advocate Shira Herzog’s fine lessons | Toronto Star.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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