2018-04-11 / Voice at the Shore

We should all be at the JCC on April 18

President Jewish Federation of Atlantic & Cape May Counties

Whether we have ever been to Israel, each of us has that one (maybe two) special memory of Israel that will be with us forever. For some of us that memory may be more recent, and for others it may be much more long ago.

I have mine, as does our executive director, Kirk Wisemayer. We have shared them with each other, as we have both done with countless people.

There are memories from Birthright or March of the Living, and those from a semester abroad spent in Israel. For some, there are memories of having served in the IDF or having made aliyah (and failed!).

Whatever your most vivid memory of Israel might be, and it may be a memory related to Israel without having been in ‘The Land’ (Ha’aretz), as she is traditionally referred to, I am certain at least once during your lifetime there has been a time when you feared for Israel’s existence. We have all had that fear.

Thankfully, there have, for most of us, also been those moments when our hearts expanded and eyes filled with tears of joy or pride over some incredible Israeli achievement. Hopefully, there will be many more such moments.

This is why we should all be at the JCC on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, for our community’s celebration of Israel’s 70th birthday. Over the past 70 years there have been moments of joy, pride, and, yes, of fear and sorrow also, both in Israel and where Israel is concerned, that we have experienced together, and they are all moments worth celebrating.

If not for Israel’s ingenuity, perseverance, and tenacity, the existence of the Jewish state should have ended long ago. This is what her enemies, overt and covert, in the Middle East, and around the globe have been working diligently towards since 1948 – and every year since. Whether they are wearing terror masks, occupying a seat in government or on the bench, or using the appeal of celebrity or influence, Israel’s enemies have been, and are, numerous and powerful.

This is why we should all be at the JCC on Yom Ha’atzmaut. Despite overwhelming odds and obstacles too many to count, Israel has not just prevailed, but flourished to become an enormously successful and contributing member of the family of nations. We should all be at the JCC on April 18 to celebrate this, to celebrate with Israel her 70 years of not just surviving, but surpassing all possible expectations of modern statehood, especially in a nation so young.

Please join us to celebrate Israel’s 70 years of trials and triumphs, and bring your memories, distant and recent, with you, to share with us. Mark your calendar now. Where will you be on April 18? At the JCC. See you there!

To purchase tickets to our community Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration (and Israel Quizzo!), please see the advertisement in this issue, and please call Jewish Federation at (609) 822-4404.

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