Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal Reflects on Israel at 75


This week Rabbi Ashira Konigsburg, USCJ Chief Program Officer, and I are in Israel attending the Special Zionist Congress to celebrate Israel’s 75th birthday.  This is a unique moment to be in Israel.  Thinking about Israel’s accomplishments  — the most modern technology and startups, one of the strongest military forces in the world, and its incredible diversity of the people, religious expression, and culture — it is remarkable what the Jewish people have accomplished in 75 years of Jewish sovereignty.  It is also humbling to recall and mourn those we remember on Yom Hazikaron — those who died defending the Jewish State, and those murdered in so many acts of terror over Israel’s history.  May their memories always be a blessing.

Israel is also clearly at a crossroads, deciding “who it wants to be.”  How does Israel realize the vision enshrined in its Declaration of Independence, to be a Jewish and democratic state?  The robust and passionate conversation taking place in Israel today reflects both the challenge and the promise of the State.

Masorti/Conservative Jews in North America have a stake in this conversation.  We also believe in a strong and democratic Jewish state that reflects the best of Jewish values.  As we celebrate this milestone in Israel’s 75 year history, our love and support for the Jewish State continues to grow.  May the State of Israel continue to prosper, mature, and inspire the Jewish people and the world at large.

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