Sunday night I became a Vikings fan. Actually, to be more accurate, I became a fan of the owner of the Vikings, Mark Wilf. Mark was elected as the new chair of the Jewish Federations of North America, and on Sunday evening he delivered an incredibly powerful speech in Tel Aviv, kicking off the festivities of our big annual conference. Mark is the son of Holocaust survivors and he credits them for his philanthropy, dedication to the Jewish people and to the State of Israel.
On Monday we heard from Holocaust survivors singing Hatikva. “Our hope is not yet lost…To be a free nation in our land.” People with nothing but hope, who today are free citizens of the Jewish Homeland. Very moving.
On Tuesday we heard from a woman who lost two of her sons fighting for Israel’s security. Her pride and positive outlook were absolutely unbelievable.
The conference theme was “we need to talk,” referring to the strained relationship between Israeli Jews and American Jews. I’ll write about this another week.
After the conference, our whole delegation returned to Eshkol, partly because we love being there and partly as a show of solidarity. After last week’s evacuation, our friends were concerned that we might never return. They were so moved that we all wanted to go back.
I’m on vacation now visiting family. I’ll be home next week. Shabbat shalom.
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