New Series – Reflections from Rabbi René

Photo: About Thames Ditton



We are delighted to introduce a new weekly series in which our Rabbi, René Pfterzel, will share his thoughts about recent events, current issues or reflections relating to the Jewish year.  This week, René talks about our Invest in Peace evening which we held on Monday 16th September.

Telling our stories and understanding each other

Anyone involved in conflict resolution knows how important it is to listen to the other’s narrative. I believe that human beings are first and foremost stories. When we meet each other, we tell each other our stories and we hope to be understood.

Ruba and Michal told us two different stories. One young Israeli Palestinian woman whose family had to leave the north of the country and eventually moved to Jerusalem, and one young Israeli Jewish woman whose grandparents fled from war-torn Europe and settled down in the south of Israel. There is still much to do to reconcile both narratives, and I was moved by the many strong emotions that Michal and Ruba expressed. However, if there is to be a better future, it starts there, with two young people talking to each other and trying to understand where the other stands.

I am so proud of my community that is able to host such an event and be ready to be challenged, as well as to challenge in a “menschlich” manner.

Israeli Michal Katoshevsky, Rabbi Rene Pfertzel and Palestinian Ruba Huleihel at our Invest in Peace event