Skip links

Main navigation

Posts by Leah Garber

Amidst the Perfect Storm, a Peace Treaty

Late Thursday night, in the midst of a hot, steamy and extremely challenging summer for Israel, the country’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, broadcast a statement to the entire country. For the first time in Israel’s history, a peace agreement will be formed between it and the United Arab Emirates, a federated monarchy of seven emirates … Continued

Celebrating Shavuot in Israel in the Age of Covid-19

Beginning at sundown on Thursday, the Jewish world will celebrate Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks, the holiday that celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai more than 3,300 years ago. Shavuot is also known as the Harvest Festival. I like these two dimensions of the holiday—the spiritual one and the earthy one—that offer … Continued

From Mourning to Celebrating

Today, on Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, the State of Israel shed its 24 hours of sorrow commemorating Yom HaZikaron, Israel Memorial Day, for fallen soldiers and victims of terror, replacing it with joy and gratitude to celebrate the State’s 72nd anniversary. When David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, declared the birth of the … Continued

“Why is this night different from all other nights?”

Tomorrow night, around festive seder tables, we will all ask together: “Ma nishtana…?—Why is this night different​ from all other nights?” This question—one we recite year after year and often is associated with young children’s excitement at singing their first solo in front of family and friends—will have an entirely new meaning this year. Why … Continued

Israel’s Elections: May Three Be the Charm

Weary and divided, frustrated and disappointed, the Israeli people went back to the polls yesterday for the third time in under a year. As a reminder, the elections for the 23rd Knesset (Israel’s parliament) were called under unprecedented circumstances: the two previous Knessets, elected on April 9th and again on September 17th, failed to form … Continued

A Vow to Keep

Israel’s elections and political disputes were pushed aside yesterday as Israeli leaders joined some 47 world delegates to issue a rallying cry in a fight against anti-Semitism. The first of its kind, it was the largest ever diplomatic gathering that marked the 75th anniversary of the Auschwitz liberation. Gathering yesterday afternoon in Jerusalem at Yad … Continued

No Hate. No Fear.

Today, the tenth of the Hebrew month of Tevet, commemorates the beginning of the siege on Jerusalem in 589 BCE by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. Ultimately, this siege led to the destruction of the First Temple and the exile of the Jews to Babylonia. With the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, the 10th of Tevet … Continued

Nov. 21, 2019: A nation on hold

The phrase “for the first time in Israel’s political history” begins to wear thin, but nevertheless, is still true. Once again, no candidate was able to form a coalition, and following 21-day grace period in which last-minute attempts were made to save the country from the turmoil it’s in, Israel will most likely be heading … Continued

In the aftermath of Israeli elections

On my way to a family holiday abroad, I was forced to handle some flight delays that apparently can’t be avoided. Standing by the airline counter along with other frustrated passengers from across the world, I was approached by one of them who asked me where we were from. As soon as she heard we … Continued

שבת שלום ~ Shabbat Shalom 22 Av, 5779

The following is a Shabbat Shalom guest post from Leah Garber, JCC Association Vice President, Israel Engagement. A Hero’s Story In February 1984, during the cold and windy winter of Holland, Pennsylvania, a legend was born. In August 2006, the man who became this legend was killed. Michael Levin, the grandson of Holocaust survivors, made … Continued