Israel and the future of American Jewry

August 11, 2017

What’s Happening

2017–2018 Israel Today series begins with
David Hazony, managing director
of The Israel Project
Tuesday, September 12, 7:30 pm
Sandler Family Campus

After returning from an eight-month stint teaching English in Myanmar, I had to figure out my next move. I thought a lot about my mission. Raised in a family where we were forced to face the importance of community from a young age, I learned that a community provides love and guidance in a time of need, celebrates happy times, and mourns sad ones. Being part of a community is being part of something bigger than one’s self. I knew my mission would be to ensure that this community was around for the next family that needed it. To the relief of my parents, I quickly decided my next move would be serving as United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s program department’s associate.

This community has given me so many opportunities to grow into the confident pro-Israel supporter that I am today. I was raised by parents and grandparents who unconditionally believed in Israel and her purpose. I went to Hebrew Academy of Tidewater where I was taught the history of our people, the struggles, and the joys. I had teachers and mentors who instilled in me the importance of standing together to fight injustice. I know the difference between supporting Israel and supporting Israel’s policies. I fear what the world looks like without an Israel.

I am in the minority of young American Jews.

When I first read The Tower’s editor, David Hazony’s article, “Israeli Identity and the Future of American Jewry,” it hit close to home. He put into words all of the worries that are in my head.

How do I make it part of my mission to get my friends and contemporaries to feel as I do? How do I get people to see that Israel is more than war? It is busy market places where you hear Hebrew, English, Russian, and Arabic spoken in a matter of feet from each other. It is nightclubs, beaches, Hebrew music and films. It is a place where I saw my sister Andie fall in love with the country on her first visit, only to return two consecutive summers. Why do most young American Jews not feel that way?

Hazony begins to put forth a plan of action. Attend this event so we can figure out a local solution together.

To learn more about the Israel Today series, or to RSVP to this free, open to the community event, contact Melissa Eichelbaum at meichelbaum@ujft.org, or 757-321-2304.

- Melissa Eichelbaum

Letter to the Editor