"A View from Jerusalem" is a monthly blog, written by Leah Garber, Vice-President, JCC Association Israel Office. Leah and her team bring JCC's and our members a view of Israel from the inside connecting us to contemporary issues of our time and building meaningful ties with our community there.
April 7, 2017
Memory that carries us back—and forward The Talmud in Ta’anit tells the following story: Honi the Wise One, also known as Honi the Circle Maker, was taking a walk when he saw a man planting a carob tree. Honi asked the man, “How long will it take for this tree to bear fruit?” The man […]
March 3, 2017
Next week the Jewish world will celebrate Purim, a holiday that introduces the concept of anti-Semitism and the demonization of the Jews, whose laws are different from the people of Persia, where they live. “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among all the other peoples and in all the provinces of your empire.[…]
February 14, 2017
Today, Feb. 14 marks 121 years since the publication of Theodor Herzl’s landmark publication, Der Judenstaat, also known as “The Jewish State.” In it, Herzl envisioned the founding of a future independent Jewish state during the 20th century. “The Jewish State” is considered one of the most important texts of early Zionism, where Herzl argues that the best way to avoid […]
January 11, 2017
Haas Promenade, Jerusalem. A site known to every tourist visiting Israel. Blessing Shehecheyanu upon arrival to Jerusalem while admiring the spectacular view of our Jewish capital. This same site symbolizes more than anything our Jewish journey—one that reflects our glorious history, flourishing present and promising future. At the same time, it reminds us of Jerusalem’s […]
December 2, 2016
In Leonard Cohen’s final album, You Want It Darker, released only weeks before his death, Cohen sings in Hebrew and English with the Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue choir, and its cantor, Gideon Y. Zelermyer,” Hineni, hineni ("here I am") I'm ready, my lord.” [...]
November 11, 2016
New Beginnings Today, exactly 76 years ago, on the 10th of the Hebrew month of Heshvan 1940 the Nazi government issued the order to gather all Jews in Warsaw into the Warsaw Ghetto. This was the largest of all Jewish ghettos in Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II, with more than 400,000 Jews. In February […]
August 18, 2016
“There were no happier days for the people of Israel than the Fifteenth of Av and Yom Kippur”. (Mishna, Ta’anit Chapter 4, 8) Today, Tu B’Av, the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Av we celebrate our own Jewish Valentine’s Day. Our own Jewish day cheering for love. Tu B’Av, is both an ancient[...]
July 12, 2016
The long sticky days and warm nights of summer seem longer than ever. Dessert winds sweep away wilderness romance, carrying nothing but dust and dry air.
However, a wonderful, blessed breeze now refreshes us, coming unexpectedly, not from the Mediterranean Sea, but rather from thousands of buses, filled with tourists from around the world—each decorated with a colorful banner and smiling faces glued to the windows.[...]
June 10, 2016
Tomorrow the Jewish world will dress in festive white in honor of Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks, the holiday that celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, also known as Hag Matan Torateinu (the Festival of the Giving of Our Torah). It is noteworthy that the holiday is called the time of […]
May 11, 2016
Today, Israel and the Jewish world observes Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s national Remembrance Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism. Ceremonies nationwide honor the 23,447 servicemen and victims of terror who had fallen since 1860. Since Yom Hazikaron last year, another difficult year has passed, one where individual terrorists introduced us to a new term, […]
April 20, 2016
Some 14 million Jews worldwide comprise the Jewish nation and will celebrate our nation’s birth tomorrow night, when we sit at the seder table to celebrate the first night of Pesach. Together we will read from the Haggadah: “And there they became a mighty nation”. What defines a nation and more so, what makes a […]
March 10, 2016
Mishenichnas Adar marbim b’simcha– “When the month of Adar arrives we should increase our joy”
Today is the first of the Hebrew month of Adar, the month associated more than any other with joy and happiness. And in two weeks, our joy increases when we celebrate Purim, which presents our Jewish story in a nutshell: In the year 482 B.C.E., the Jews of the Persian Empire faced death, decreed by King Achashverosh, for not assimilating. “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the other people in all the provinces of your realm, whose laws are different from those of any other people and who do not obey the king’s laws and it is not in your majesty’s interest to tolerate them.”(Megillat Esther 3:9). The plot, instigated by Haman, the king’s evil vizier, urged the people to initiate a bloodbath and to loot and kill the Jews on the 15th day of the month of Adar.[...]
February 14, 2016
It is with great interest and curiosity that we in Israel follow the largest celebration of democracy as it is being expressed through the United States’ primary season.
As the only democracy in the Middle East, we cherish democracy’s values, appreciate its essence and understand its challenges and, at time, its faults. Or, as Winston Churchill once said “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others”[…]
January 14, 2016
On days where conflict, terror, fear and hatred blacken our sky and cloud our lives, we must appreciate every beam of light that illuminates caring, empathy, humanity and hope.
Almost 68 years have passed since the founding of Israel, nearly seven decades of endless, almost near-hopeless attempts to live in peace with four million Palestinians, our closest neighbors. It does not seem these days like things will ever change; they end only in a summary of despair, entrenched attitudes, prejudice and strong opinions. And most of all, with sadness, great sadness.
Since the High Holidays, Israel has been going through a painful wave of terror. One that is mostly sporadic, not planned, carried out by young men and women, in many cases teenagers. This wave of violence terrorize, provokes confrontation, deepens the abyss, raises the raises the walls and widens the barriers between us and them, between peace and war. [...]
December 19, 2015
November 12, 2015
September 10, 2015
August 17, 2015
July 15, 2015
May 14, 2015
April 16, 2015