A Message from Saby Behar, Chair of Israel and Overseas
I write these words from Israel, as I proudly join a staggering 725 Miamians who have travelled thousands of miles to be here in Israel for the largest mega mission in the past decade. It is such a wonderful feeling to be here, especially with Yom Haatzmaut just a few hours away, honoring Israel and the work of our organization, thinking back to all the times the Jewish Federations of North America has been there for the State.
The powerful connection we feel for Israel is always an emotional one, all the more so when I'm sharing it with so many of my community. It's great to be doing work for Israel, but even better to be doing it here in Israel. Enjoy this latest edition and happy Birthday to Israel!
A Message from Rebecca Caspi, Senior Vice President, Israel and Overseas
I write to you from Jerusalem today, Yom Hazikaron, the national day of mourning for all those who have fallen in the defense of the State of Israel. The day on which we honor the 22,993 soldiers' lives lost in service.Their sacrifice, alongside the 3,718 lives lost in terrorist attacks, is a painful reminder of the true cost of the miracle of a Jewish State about to turn 64 years old.
Earlier today I had the privilege of representing our North American Jewish community at the annual memorial ceremony which takes place in the National Institutions compound – in the courtyard at the front of the Jewish Agency’s main building.For those of you who may be less familiar with the history and geography of this place, it is literally the physical heart of the pre-State Yishuv and the place from which our Jewish State was launched.So you can perhaps imagine what a somber and sobering experience it is to be called on to acknowledge the tremendous price that has been paid, and the sacrifices that have been made to ensure our continuity as a people.Here’s a link to my full remarks, if you’re interested.
Tonight and tomorrow we will celebrate Yom Haatzmaut. 64 years of Jewish national independence, can you believe it? As always, the move from the solemnity of Yom Hazikaron to the joy of Yom Haatzmaut is both difficult, yet uplifting. The shift between mourning, honoring those fallen for our existence and jubilation at our country's existence, never falls short of amazing. This year, we’re especially inspired by the more than 700 people here with us as participants in the Miami Mega Mission – Kol HaKavod Miami on this remarkable achievement!
Despite Israel's imperfections, I am proud. I am proud of all that’s been accomplished despite incredible odds.And I’m awed by the unwavering support of the North American Jewish community and the entire Jewish world for Israel.With every new challenge, I know, as you do, that we will continue working together to make Israel the pride of our global Jewish family – a true light onto the nations.
For some inspiring insights into how that’s happening today, please visit our resource page for information on challenges in Israel's civil society; the Negev Funding Coalition's work, and great examples of the crucial work being done by our historic partners at the Jewish Agency and JDC.
Keep looking at our Israel and Overseas website for updates as well as to learn more about the Global Planning Table. For our part, we will continue to be your eyes and ears on the ground, bringing timely updates and information about important developments as they unfold, and encouraging the voice of North American Jewry to be heard as Israel's partner in the building of the State of Israel.
May we always find Israel awe-inspiring and a source of pride and may we support each other as we work towards achieving that.
Shalom and best wishes for a chag Atzmaut sameach!
The Negev Funding Coalition's Renewable Energy Program