Jews to Hold Memorial Service for Those Killed in Gaza Aid Flotilla

Jews to Hold Memorial Service for Those Killed in Gaza Aid Flotilla

Sunday, June 13, 1 p.m. across from the White House in Lafayette Park.

Plus healing prayers for those hurt or wounded in the Israeli assault on the boats , plus prayers for release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit held by Hamas and for the release of thousands of Palestinians held by Israel in their jails and outdoor detention camps.

Rabbi Michael Lerner and Rabbi Arthur Waskow will conduct healing prayers in the Jewish tradition for those hurt or wounded, and a traditional Jewish memorial service for those killed when Israeli troops assaulted a flotilla of ships bringing aid to Gaza last Monday. Religious leaders from other faiths are also invited to participate. 

The services will take place on Sunday, June 13, at 1 p.m. opposite the White House in Lafayette Park, as part of a conference sponsored by the interfaith Network of Spiritual Progressives Friday, June 11-Sunday June 13 at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 212 E. Capitol St., NE.  The focus of the conference is: Strategies for Secular and Religious Progressives in the Obama Years.

The conference is co-sponsored by Common Cause, the Interfaith Alliance, The Nation magazine, Progressive Democrats of America, the Washington Peace Center, Tikkun magazine, The Shalom Center, and Peace Action. Among the conference speakers: Rev. Brian McLaren, Rev. James Forbes, Rev. James Winkler, Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister, Buddhist author Robert Thurman, John Dear, S.J., Congressman Keith Ellison, environmentalist activist and theorist Bill McKibben, Heather Booth, David Korten, Rabbi Arik Asherman, and more.

“The overwhelming majority of American Jews,” said Rabbi Lerner, chair of the Network of Spiritual Progressives and editor of Tikkun Magazine, “are saddened and morally outraged at the killings and woundings that took place on the high seas on May 31st, and want to make clear that this kind of behavior is not a morally acceptable or politically effective way for Israel to achieve security. We are holding this service in part to express our condolences to the families of the slain and our prayers for those who have been hurt or wounded. We stand with Israel in support of its right to security, and with the Palestinian people in support of their right to justice and national self-determination in a secure Palestinian state that encompasses all of the West Bank and Gaza and sharing Jerusalem with Israel.”