There are some who feel we are at a critical point in our relationship with Israel, a relationship strained by increasingly divergent political views and priorities. At the same time, as Americans we are moving toward the extremes and surrounding ourselves with like-minded individuals. And the reality is, the conversation has stopped. This year the Israel Center of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati wants to bring people with diverse opinions together in the same room to promote learning and robust dialogue about Israel—not to reach consensus but to increase understanding of the other.


We Need to Talk. This initiative is not meant to signal an impending break up (as the clichéd phrase might suggest) but an opportunity to lean in have productive conversations about divisive issues. So whether you’re around a dinner table, in a board room, or at the gym, you feel comfortable engaging in thorny topics.


Through a series of book discussions, roundtables, and speaker events, the Israel Center, in collaboration with the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Mayerson JCC, will facilitate open and honest, and sometimes difficult, discussions about Israel. They will create spaces where people feel comfortable engaging in conversations about Israel.   

Join us for a Community Read!

Encourage your book club to read this New York Times bestseller in 2019. Sign up here for a free copy of the book and a discussion guide.

Community Read

Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor by Yossi Klein Halevi

Attempting to break the agonizing impasse between Israelis and Palestinians, Israeli commentator and award-winning author Yossi Klein Halevi directly addresses his Palestinian neighbors in this taut and provocative book, empathizing with Palestinian suffering and longing for reconciliation as he explores how the conflict looks through Israeli eyes.


In Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor, Halevi untangles the ideological and emotional knot that has defined the conflict for nearly a century. In lyrical, evocative language, he unravels the complex strands of faith, pride, anger and anguish he feels as a Jew living in Israel, using history and personal experience as his guide. Halevi’s letters speak not only to his Palestinian neighbor, but to all concerned global citizens, helping us understand the painful choices confronting Israelis and Palestinians that will ultimately help determine the fate of the region.


Halevi is an author, thinker, and commentator on Jewish and Israeli affairs. Born in New York, he moved to Israel in 1982 and lives in Jerusalem.

Save the Date!


Author Yossi Klein Halevi will speak at the Mayerson JCC on October 29 at 7PM.

More details and registration information will be announced soon.

Join the Conversation! 

If you’re interested in having Amnon lead a discussion about Israel in Your Living Room or just want more information, sign up here


Community Shaliach (Emissary) from Israel | 513-985-1535


Israel in Your Living Room

Turn typical dinner party fodder on its head, where taboo topics aren’t off the table but are being served up instead. Whether in your living room, around a dining room table, or in the cozy nook of a local coffee shop, invite your friends to join you for a conversation about Israel, led and facilitated by our Community Shaliach (Emissary) Amnon Maggid. Choose your own adventure for the evening, from the Arab-Israeli conflict to Israeli politics and elections, to the Israeli people and organizations that give us hope for a better future. Choose a comfortable setting for some potentially uncomfortable conversation.


Israel: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Get a full picture Israel update with the opportunity to discuss challenging issues in Israel and share your personal feelings.

Jerusalem, the “New” Capital of Israel

Learn about the history of the city and the reality of life in Jerusalem today.

70 Reasons for Hope

Be inspired by the organizations, people, and events that give us hope for a better Israel.

Israeli Politics 101

The Knesset, elections, parties, and opposition—get a behind-the-scenes look at the Israeli political system and the hot topics today.

50 Shades of Judaism in Israel

Explore the many ways people express their Judaism, from secular to Orthodoxy, and everything in between.

The Security of Israel and its Impact on Arab-Israeli Relationships

Discuss the conflict, life in the settlements, and relations between Arabs and Israelis in and around Israel.

We Need to Talk is presented by the Israel Center of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, in partnership with the Jewish Community Relations Council and Mayerson JCC.