Today is February 26, 2018 -
Asked to speak at last night’s Annual Meeting, I offered the following remarks:
My friend sadly lost his father this year. The father was an avid collector of ham radios for several decades. My friend inherited a store-room full of ham radios and ham-radio parts. Having no personal interest in the ham radio, he has been diligently working to liquidate the collection in a way that would be meaningful to his father’s legacy.
I collect comic books. I have been reading comic books with my children since each of them was born. They learned their colors from superhero costumes. They learned about modes of transportation from superheroes – Superman flies, Flash runs, Aquaman swims, and Spiderman swings. I just filled my 77th box of comic books and fourth bookshelf of graphic novels. Only 75 boxes and three bookshelves fit in my comic-book room. My children all asked if I could keep the extra boxes and shelves in their rooms. My collection is important to me, so I’ve spent considerable time and energy conveying that message to my children. I’m hopeful that when they eventually inherit my collection, it will bring them the pleasure that it has brought to me.
The Torah and the Land of Israel are the inheritance of the Jewish people. Our parents and grandparents understood this. They fought for Israel’s creation and financially supported her. My generation continues the love and support. But, we cannot assume that the next generation will as well. This makes our job twice as hard. We not only have to continue our support, but if Israel is so important to us, then we have an obligation to convey this importance to our children.
So, as Marc (new Federation chair) has already shared (during his remarks), trips to Israel will continue to be a high priority for us. Building on the connections that we’ve been making, we look to strengthen our personal relationships with our friends in the Eshkol Region. We look to enhance our Israel Experience program to encourage more high school and college extended trips to Israel. We plan to beef up Israel education in our schools. We look to increase our presence on campus, supporting Hillel and those Jewish organizations that care for our students. Through our young adult program, we look to make the Jewish community more accessible to our next generation.
If we don’t invest the time and resources into the next generation, then Jewish life and our precious homeland will have the same significance as the ham radio.