As Israel celebrates its 71st birthday, some of Schechter’s faculty share what “Israeliness” means to them. May Israel go from strength to strength!
For me, being Israeli means to live in a situation where one’s actions, in every moment of life, impact the future of the Jewish people and the Jewish people’s contribution to the future of humanity – for good and for bad. To the extent that we consider our “Israeliness” in a manner that expands our humanity and our culture; to the extent that we direct our lives to the ideals of justice and truth, to that extent we will broaden our Jewishness and our humanity. But the opposite is also true: To the extent that we understand our Israeliness in narrow and fanatical terms, to that extent we will destroy our Judaism and our humanity.
Israeliness is best expressed in its contrasts:
On the good side- solidarity, brotherhood, a willingness to help and so much love of country. And on the less good side- lack of patience (particularly on the roads) roughness, and a way of speaking that is not the most dignified. But at the end of the day, we have no other country! And it is always possible to improve, even at age 71.
Being Israeli is friendship and willingness to open you home and heart to people who you don’t even know. Some examples: attending funerals and weddings of people who don’t have relatives in Israel to offer comfort or to celebrate; visiting a grave of a fallen soldier on Memorial Day who doesn’t have relatives; the dancing in the streets of Israel, all the different dances even after 70 years of Statehood; nights of singing; Shabbat and holidays all over the country, even in Tel Aviv there is a quietness that suddenly descends.
Passover, the Festival of Freedom, celebrates liberation from bondage. This past December, Dr. Levana Libi Milon, a TALI school principal, traveled from Jerusalem to New York to experience a new type of freedom. Read more about her journey.
On March 27th, 2019, The Second Annual Conference on the State of Israel and the Jews of North America was held at the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. The conference was co-sponsored by Schechter and JTS.
The 19th annual Regional Masorti Women’s Study Days were held in February across Israel.
The overall theme was “Women’s Voices Changing the Discourse: From Bible to Today”
TALI’s year-long professional development program recently participated on a live tv show with Jordana Miller on i24news channel. Participating in this interview was Nitza Elazari, Principal at the Adam V’Olamo TALI School in Jerusalem and Dr. Peri Sinclair, Director of Professional Development at TALI.
Tu Bishvat is mentioned in the Mishna as Rosh Hashanah L’Ilan, the New Year of the Tree. It gained in popularity when the 16th-century Kabbalists in Safed began to hold a Seder Tu Bishvat and eat up to 30 types of fruits, while the Zionists in the 20th century began to plant trees on Tu Bishvat.
This year on Tu B’Shvat, Neve Schechter will host a very special exhibition. It will display photographs taken in the framework of project conducted in partnership with the Neve Tzedek Municipal High School. The project has been running for five years, and the exhibition opening for Tu B’Shvat will be the fifth one held at the Neve Schechter modern art gallery, a highly acclaimed Tel Aviv exhibition space.
The purpose of the trip was to learn about Jewish education in the Diaspora in order to broaden their perspectives on issues of Jewish identity in the State of Israel. I didn’t realize then that the choice to begin my visit specifically here would be a defining moment which would accompany me throughout the week.
Masorti Women in Israel and Diaspora sisters who are visiting Israel are invited to the 19th Regional Masorti Women’s Study Days