Jewish, Palestinian readers: How are you talking about Israel with your loved ones?

Jewish, Palestinian readers: How are you talking about Israel with your loved ones?

Tell Us

We want to hear about your experiences and relationships with your community and family since Oct. 7.

Rabbi William Hamilton embraces Minister Sharon Cornelius following a Multi-faith Evening of Prayer and Mourning at Congregation Kehillath Israel. The event brought together members of multiple faiths and spiritual communities from across Greater Boston to offer moral support and prayers for Israel and the Jewish Community. (Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff)

As the war in Israel and Gaza rages on, Jewish, Israeli, Palestinian, and Muslim residents here in New England are feeling the impact within their communities and families in many different ways.

More than 13,000 Gazan civilians in total have been killed in the enclave since the October 7 attacks by Hamas, which killed more than 1,200 people in Israel, and in that time, several readers and experts described complex feelings about the conflict and its devastation.

On Wednesday, Israel and Hamas agreed to a temporary cease-fire and the release of some hostages and prisoners. Specific plans and details for the release of hostages have not yet been finalized as of Wednesday morning.

Peter Perlmutter is a resident of Lynnfield who self-identified as a third-generation American Jew of Ashkenazi heritage with family in Israel. He told that while he’s thankful his family is safe, he said he can’t ignore the fact that “there are thousands of families that are hurting beyond belief,” including Palestinians.

“I feel so bad for them, I do. I feel as bad [for them] as I feel for the Israeli civilians who were killed and butchered and made hostages,” he said.

David, a reader from Brighton who self-identified as Palestinian-American, said he feels the American media’s inability to call Israel’s bombardments of Gaza war crimes has made it “incredibly difficult to discuss what is happening to innocent Palestinian civilians without being cast as insensitive or even antisemitic.”

Within Jewish organizations here in Boston, the conflict and calls for a ceasefire have fractured decades old ties within the Jewish activism community. The Boston Workers Circle: Center for Jewish Cultural and Social Justice (BWC) withdrew from the Boston Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) — an organization the BWC had been a part of since 1944 — because of disagreements over the ongoing war.

On Oct. 18, the BWC co-sponsored a rally with several other progressive Jewish groups to pressure Senator Elizabeth Warren to call for a cease-fire and de-escalation in Gaza, a position the Boston Jewish Community Relations Council disagreed with. Ultimately, the BWC decided to leave the JCRC voluntarily after being informed that it would face certain removal by the Council in any formal vote.

“The demand for our removal was heartbreaking. But it was also, for me, a moment of pride,” Miles Meth, a Jewish board member of the BWC wrote in an opinion piece for The Forward, a nonprofit news media organization for Jewish Americans.

“I feel blessed to have found a community that is able to hold complexity — multiple truths and multiple griefs,” Meth said. “While I grieve the gulf between us and so many of our peers in the Jewish world, I am proud to be a member of a Jewish organization that is no stranger to speaking for justice while facing pushback.”

These kinds of conversations aren’t just happening among activists — they’re being discussed among friends and families at community centers and across the dinner table.

We want to hear from our Jewish and Palestinian readers about how the Israel-Hamas conflict has impacted your relationship with your community and family.

Has the conflict brought you closer to your family or forced difficult conversations? How are you navigating disagreements or disputes in your community or family? What does it mean to you to be a member of your community now?

Tell us by filling out the form or e-mailing us at [email protected], and your response may appear in a future article. will not publish your contact information, but a reporter may be in touch to discuss your submissions

How is the Israel-Hamas conflict impacting your relationship with your community/family?

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