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About the NEYM Israel-Palestine Working Group

The Israel-Palestine Working Group of New England Yearly Meeting has been meeting since 2015, primarily to plan programs at Yearly Meeting Sessions about Palestine-Israel. Each summer we’ve organized and facilitated over 30 programs including slideshows and movies about the region, workshops, speakers, a Gaza pinwheel display from the AFSC, photographic displays, and informal lunch sessions. Most recently we have concentrated on helping write and distribute minutes (statements) from monthly and quarterly meetings. We are a small, self-appointed interest group from different sections of New England within New England Yearly Meeting. Most of us have visited Palestine-Israel  numerous times and have been active on related issues for more than one decade.

Our goals are to foster comprehension of the constantly shifting political landscape, encourage Quaker and individual action, ultimately to contribute to a just peace in Palestine-Israel. One vehicle for this is a strong fair minute from NEYM.

“Our lives are love, and peace, and tenderness; and bearing one with another, and forgiving one another, and not laying accusations one against another, but praying one for another, and helping one another up with a tender hand.” (Isaac Penington, 1667)

Cliff Bennett (Plainfield MM, VT), Margaret Hawthorn (Monadnock Quaker Meeting, NH), Anita Rapone (Burlington Friends Meeting), Susan Rhodewalt (Northeast Kingdom Quaker Meeting, VT), Scott Rhodewalt (Northeast Kingdom Quaker Meeting, VT), Skip Schiel  (Friends Meeting at Cambridge, MA), Charles Simpson (Burlington Friends Meeting), Jonathan Vogel Borne (Friends Meeting at Cambridge), and Chris Andres.

Sandy Isaacs was a key founding member active until his death in January 2019, and Joyce Rawitscher was an earlier important founding member, active until her death in November 2016.

We are a self-selected interest group within New England Yearly Meeting.

News and Events

Statements and Minutes from New England Quakers

  • Recommendations to Northwest Quarterly Meeting
    February 28, 2014
    Ad-hoc Israel-Palestine Committee of NW Quarter's recommendations
  • A Call for a Just and Lasting Peace
    November 9, 2014
    A minute adopted by Burlington Friends Meeting, November 2014
  • Boycott and Divest Products Supporting Occupation
    June 7, 2015
    A minute adopted by Monadnock Quaker Meeting, July 2015
  • Support for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement
    December 13, 2015
    Storrs (CT) Friends unites on minute
  • Statement on US Role in Israel/Palestine
    January 11, 2016
    A minute adopted by Friends Meeting at Cambridge, January 2016
  • Salem Quarterly Meeting Statement on the United States Role...
    April 23, 2017
    A statement and call to action
  • NEYM unites on a statement about Palestine-Israel
    August 8, 2017
    For the first time, NEYM responds to the violence in the...
  • Minute of Concern for Palestinians in Gaza
    July 5, 2018
    A few Quakers in New England speak out about the blockade...