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AJP statement on Israel Shabbat

israel photo.jpg
“Israel Palestine Wall” by DEZALB / Pixabay License

We, the Alliance of Jewish Progressives and those undersigned, call upon the Princeton community to abstain from attending the Center for Jewish Life (CJL)’s “Israel Shabbat” this Friday evening, hosted in partnership with Tigers for Israel (TFI). This event, which fails to reckon with the nuances of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is deeply hurtful and exclusionary to members of the Princeton Jewish and broader campus communities. 

After we voiced our disappointment to them, the CJL administration attempted to accommodate our concerns and offered to host an alternative Shabbat experience in a different space. Its proposal, while sincere and appreciated, did not fix the underlying problem. For us, Shabbat is a time and space for the Jewish and broader Princeton communities to come together. When the CJL hosts an event, it implicitly speaks on behalf of the Jewish community, but this event does not reflect us. We object to any Shabbat experience that is not welcoming to all people, irrespective of their opinions regarding Israel. We rejected the CJL’s offer of an alternate space because we reject the notion that our voices are alternative. 


TFI’s “Israel Shabbat” is part of the group’s “Israel Week,” which consists of several public events this week, all of which fail to acknowledge Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian territories or incorporate any critical discussion of the political reality in the region. We disagree both politically and morally with the decision to host these events, and we are profoundly disappointed in the CJL’s decision to make “Israel Shabbat” the primary celebration of Shabbat this week. Despite those who say otherwise, “Israel Week” is not apolitical. It is important that every member of the community who chooses to attend the CJL and TFI’s Israel Shabbat this Friday understands that doing so is a political act. 

We strongly encourage both Jewish and non-Jewish students to abstain from attending this Shabbat dinner at the Center for Jewish Life this Friday, April 5. We invite all members of the Princeton community to join the Alliance of Jewish Progressives and our allies at our Shabbat experience to #NotOurShabbat. For those who do not wish to join us, we encourage you to eat elsewhere on campus and look forward to sharing Shabbat dinner with you again at the CJL in the future. 

We, the undersigned, pledge not to attend the CJL’s “Israel Shabbat” this Friday, April 5, and object to the CJL administration’s continued endorsement of the event as is. We will gather to celebrate Shabbat together elsewhere. 

Shabbat Shalom, 

AJP Team Leaders


Rafi Lehmann ’20

Alec Israeli ’21

Zachariah Sippy ’22

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Supporting Signatories

Chaya Holch ’22

Ben Perelmuter ’19

Christian Bischoff ’19

Ameena Faruki ’22

Marc Schorin ’22

Rebecca Ngu ’20

Zachariah Sippy ’22

Amanda Eisenhour ’21

Leopoldo Solis ’21

Avner Goldstein ’21

Alec Israeli ’21

Benjamin D. Huang ’20

Eli Berman ’20

Michelle Baird ’20

Alya Ahmad ’21

Micah Newberger ’22

Tessa Flanagan ’21

Maya von Ziegesar ’19

Tess Jacobson ’19

Anna Macknick ’21

Jason Seavey ’21

Sakura Price ’22

Carson Maconga ’22

Michaela Daniel ’21

Nico Gregory ’22

Nourhan Ibrahim ’20

Diego Ayala ’22

Natalia Arbelaez Solano ’22

Joe Shipley ’22

MaryAnn Placheril ’21

Zora Arum ’22

Makailyn Jones ’22

Kennedy Miller ’21

Nalanda Sharadjaya ’21

Sahithi Tirumala ’22

Benjamin Gelman ’22

Melita Piercy ’20

Hannah Wang ’21

Ruben Dicker ’20

Andres Larrieu ’22

Beatrice Ferguson ’21

TJ Smith ’20

Joshua Judd Porter ’21

BT Hayes ’22

Akiva Jacobs ’22

Ahmed Farah ’22

Majida Halaweh ’19

Dina Kuttab ’21

Zachariah Smart ’19

Jessica Gaytan ’21

Lily Zhang ’22

Harshini Abbaraju ’22

Alma Huselja ’19

Allen Liu ’22

Naomi Park ’21

Aditi Dhital ’20

Vayne Ong ’20

Zach Cohen ’19

Christopher Russo ’20

Rachel Coe-Scharff ’19

Cheyenne Zhang ’22

Risa Gelles-Watnick ’21

Paige Bentley ’21

Justin Wittekind ’22

Bobbi Brashear ’21

Mikaela Gerwin ’19

Sarah Barnette ’20

Sarah Brown ’22

Irma Qavolli ’20

Noë Wolf ’22

Micah Herskind ’19

Eric Tran ’22

Peter Scharer ’22

Jaspreet Kalsi ’20

Tamica Perera ’22

Beimnet Shitaye ’20

Sharon Musa ’20

Téa Wimer ’19

Nicolette D'Angelo ’19

Amy Watsky ’21

Jonah Lytle ’21

Thea Zalabak ’21

Silma Berrada ’22

Jenny Driscoll ’22

Chase Lovgren ’21

Haleigh Gundy ’22

Rasheeda Saka ’20

Tasnuva Orchi ’19

Conor Wilson ’21

Cole Diehl ’20

Uchechi Ihenacho ’22

Emily Kunkel ’19

Max Grear ’18

Kenji Cataldo ’20

Danny Pinto ’20

Kyle Duffey ’19

Roshini Balasubramanian ’22

Artemis Eyster ’19

Michael Liapin ’20

Begum Ortaoglu ’22

Sonia Gu ’22

Isaac Velasquez ’21

Daniel Krane ’18

Rimsha Malik ’21

Braden Flax ’21

Emma Harlan ’22

Maria Clara Otani ’20

Kaveh Badrei ’20

Caoimhe Boyle ’22

Jason Bateman ’20

Hamza Hashem ’21

Ricki Heicklen ’19

Nora Schultz ’19

David Song ’21

Ishan Sinha ’20

Shanaz Deen ’21

Sirad Hassan ’20

Sebastian Witherspoon ’19

Hector Betanzos ’22

Madeleine Dietrich ’20

Samuel Barnett ’19

Jamie O’Leary ’19

Hrishikesh Somayaji ’21

Ellen Whiteside ’22

Caleb Visser ’20

K. Stiefel ’20

Mark Smith ’22

Sena Cebeci ’19

Annabelle Tseng ’12

Yulissa Cantero ’21

Naomi Shifrin ’21

Max McGougan ’21

Sam Lapkin ’19

Malcolm Slutzky ’22

Nathaniel Moses ’19

Andrew Brown ’20

Pulkit Singh ’20

Rohana Chase ’19

Soyeong Park ’20

Jocelyn Galindo ’21

Amanda Glatt ’19

Erica Dugue ’21

Ruth Schultz ’22

Grace Rehaut ’18

Benjamin Getraer ’19

Tessa Albertson ’20

Sophie Evans ’21

Sofie Kim ’20

Azwad Iqbal ’19

Sarah Malik ’20

Mikaylah Ladue ’20

Emma Coley ’20

Shazia Babul ’20

Shamailah Azam ’20

Peter Schmidt ’20

Nicky Steidel ’18

Zarnab Virk ’20

Samuel Prentice ’20

Coby Goldberg ’20

Bhavani Srinivas ’20

Rafi Lehmann ’20