Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Parallel Cities

When I had originally planned on this month’s message, I had no idea that I would open it with a prayer for the safety and well being of three Israeli boys who were kidnapped by terrorists on their way home from boarding school. Since early Friday morning, these three students have become all our boys. […]

Yom HaAtzmaut 2014: State of the Nation

Last week, Israel and the Jewish world celebrated the Jewish state’s 66th anniversary. It’s hard to imagine that such a short time ago Israel was established. At that time, only 650,000 Jews lived in the newly born country. Since that Friday afternoon, on May 14, 1948, when David Ben Gurion declared the new state, Israel […]

Getting global recognition as a Jewish State

As Jews around the world sit down at the seder table to celebrate the first night of Passover, or Pesach, we should all remember to rejoice and give thanks, while commemorating Jewish resilience and heroism. Pesach commemorates the liberation of the ancient Israelites from 400 years of slavery in Egypt. Since that time, the holiday […]

How does Judaism fit in the Jewish State and their military?

Today the Jewish world celebrates Purim, one of the happiest Jewish holidays. Although Purim is associated mostly with children, it is in my opinion one of the most serious holidays, with an eternal message that perhaps today is more relevant than ever. In Esther’s book we read: ….”And letters were sent by posts into all […]

Israeli Presidential Elections

Today, 65 years ago, Dr. Chaim Azriel Weizmann was inaugurated as Israel’s first president. Eight presidents later, the Israeli public is debating whether the $17 million annual expense is worth it. In July, President Shimon Peres will conclude his term of seven years, during which he restored the presidency’s reputation, badly tarnished by his predecessor’s […]

Israel and the Refugee Crisis

Today, the fifteenth day of the Hebrew month of Shevat, the Jewish world celebrates Tu B’Shevat, the holiday that marks a New Year for the Trees. This is the season in which the earliest blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle. This is the […]

JCC Executives See Israel Beyond the Conflict

Just a few weeks ago, a group of 21 leaders from 12 JCCs embarked on a Jewish journey, which began at David Ben Gurion’s burial place in Israel’s desert and ended in modern Tel Aviv. This journey was part of JCC Association’s Boarding Pass initiative, which encourages JCCs to be the lead organization within their […]

Israelis in America or Israeli Americans?

If you approach an Israeli in the street and ask what he feels about Israelis leaving the country to live overseas, his answer will probably demonstrate a negative attitude. This attitude is beginning to change, but not completely. In the early days of the state, for an Israeli to leave the country was considered something […]

Let’s Focus on the Positive

Tomorrow, the twelfth of the Hebrew month of Heshvan, marks the eighteenth anniversary of the assassination of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Large memorial services are scheduled to take place this week in Israel and across the Jewish world. Since that dreadful day, Rabin’s assassination and the changes within Israeli society that preceded it continue […]

40 Years After Yom Kippur War Brings Reflection

On the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the Jewish world paused for 25 hours for self-examination and reflection. For Israelis, there is a sense of national reflection as well: Yom Kippur brings back memories of a traumatic war that left open wounds. This year’s Yom Kippur marks the fortieth […]

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