February 28th, 2013
Steve Horblitt, an alumnus from our 1985 African American Leaders Seminar recently shared these pictures with us. We think they are amazing and wanted to share them with you.
Reflecting on the Israel trip 28 years later, Steve noted, “The Project Interchange 1985 delegation featuring African-American leadership emanated from the Black-Jewish Dialogue organized by the AJC Washington Office and the Washington Council of Churches. The trip to Israel made a major contribution to understanding the complexity and diversity of Israeli society, its politics and the security challenges it faces. As a member of the delegation, I can attest that the visit to Israel stimulated informed dialogue, reflection and inquiry among the participants. Mental models of Israel were challenged and transformed and had significant impact on the ways in which future issues were addressed by us all.”
Also reflecting on the delegation and photos, AJC’s Rabbi Andy Baker, also a participant in the delegation noted, “The 1980s were marked by tense relations between African-Americans and Jews in Washington. The Black –Jewish dialogue organized by AJC’s Washington chapter was one of the few places where all issues were discussed candidly with local civic and religious leaders, and Israel had been a frequent topic. This 1985 Project Interchange trip—a first visit to Israel for nearly all the dialogue participants—was an eye opener. It revealed the vibrancy and diversity of Israeli society as well as the sharp political discussions taking place inside the country. Long-held stereotypes were forever shattered.”