A View from Jerusalem

"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.

A View from Jerusalem (May 2019)

May 7, 2019

Tonight, the Jewish people will pause for a moment of silence. Sirens will wail across the Israel like a single cry carried in the wind. A nation will bow its head, whispering a prayer for peace, with deep gratitude for those who made the ultimate sacrifices. 27,904 men and women, our sisters and brothers, our […]

A View from Jerusalem (April 2019)

April 18, 2019

Reaching the moon and beyond… Tomorrow night the Jewish people will gather around festive Pesach Seder tables and recite from the Haggadah: “In every generation, a person is obligated to see himself as if he had left Egypt.” Pesach, known as the celebration of our freedom, marks the redemption of the Israelites after hundreds of[…]

A View from Jerusalem (March 2019)

March 19, 2019

“The month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day.” As the Jewish world prepares for Purim’s festivities and joy, I want to recognize that 107 years ago today, Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, was founded. Henrietta Szold, Hadassah’s founder, was an American Jewish Zionist […]

A View from Jerusalem (February 2019)

February 13, 2019

The honey and the sting – על הדבש ועל העקץ All of us in Israel were excited to see the Shalva Band do so well on “Rising Star,” Israel’s televised talent show that recognizes outstanding performances, complete with judges, audience voting, and lots of hopes and dreams. The Shalva Band, made up of excellent musicians, […]

A View from Jerusalem (January 2019)

January 3, 2019

Safra and Saifa– The Book and the Sword  This past Shabbat two Israeli icons left this world leaving behind their legacy, devotion and spirit to guide us through times ahead. As the sun set, and candles across the country burned with Shabbat’s holiness, their brightness carried Amos Oz’s soul through its final journey. The State […]

A View from Jerusalem (November 2018)

November 29, 2018

Together – Marching with World Jewry Today the Jewish world marks Hanukkah’s first day, a holiday celebrating Jewish rebellion and resilience, determination and triumph of spirit. The story of the Maccabees takes us back to the year 164 B.C.E when the Maccabean rededicated the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the revolt against […]

A View from Jerusalem (October 2018)

October 29, 2018

I consider the Jewish community of Pittsburgh home. For three amazing years my family and I lived there. I was fortunate to serve as the community shlicha—emissary, at the local Jewish Federation. Pittsburgh is where our daughters went to one of the local Jewish day schools. Pittsburgh welcomed us with open hearts, endless warmth, and [...]

A View from Jerusalem (September 2018)

September 17, 2018

Autumn’s wandering birds carry with them foreign scents, exotic fragrances, and a slight touch of mystery. One can only wonder what secrets hide under their wings, carried away like blowing leaves by autumn winds. Exaltation is in the air[...]

A View from Jerusalem (August 2018)

August 7, 2018

In a few days, the Jewish world will mark the first day of the month of Elul, known as the month of mercy and forgiveness. It is the month leading us into the holiness and sanctity of the high holidays[...]

A View from Jerusalem (July 2018)

July 12, 2018

“Summertime, and the livin’ is easy“…

Israel’s steamy, sticky summer brings with it packed beaches, blue chilled water to escape to, families enjoying the breeze, while flying kites tangle in it high and above[...]

A View from Jerusalem (June 2018)

June 14, 2018

Playing the game The power of sport extends beyond its immediate, most obvious advantages. Yes, it is healthy; sure, it is good for our mind, our soul. No doubt, it is fun, but above all, sport’s biggest contribution to humankind is bringing people together. Since the ancient days of Sparta, through the Olympics Games and […]

A View from Jerusalem (May 2018

May 14, 2018

A week to remember On Sunday, Jerusalem, our capital, the city of gold and light, celebrated the 51st anniversary of its unification with tens of thousands of teenagers dancing the streets, waving blue and white flags in honor of this landmark occasion. These endless circles of dancers were the warm up show for today’s historical […]


A View from Jerusalem (April 2018)

April 19, 2018

Pride is in the air! “As long as deep in the heart, The soul of a Jew yearns, And forward to the east To Zion, an eye looks.” —Hatikva, Israel’s national anthem Driving around Israel these past few days offers an emotional experience, almost spiritual. All streets are decorated for festivity—blue and white flags hang […] 


A View from Jerusalem (March 2018)

March 14, 2018

A few days ago, I joined one of our JCCs visiting in Israel on a tour of the Hall of Independence in Tel Aviv, a place I consider a modern-day shrine. This is the holy place of where the State of Israel was declared by David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, on May 14, [...]


A View from Jerusalem (February 2018)

February 12, 2018

Tikkun Olam “I hold that while man exists, it is his duty to improve not only his own condition, but to assist in ameliorating mankind.” —Abraham Lincoln On a sunny but chilly morning a few weeks ago, I had a fascinating conversation with a Houstonian taxi driver who drove me across town from one of […]


A View from Jerusalem (January 2018)

January 7, 2018

One hundred and sixty years ago today, one of the great modern day innovators was born, Eliezer Ben Yehuda, who revived the Hebrew language. Ben Yehuda dedicated his life to renewing an extinct langue that up to that moment belonged to prayer books and Jewish texts only. He fought shatterd barriers, broke conventions and led […]


A View from Jerusalem (December 2017)

December 7, 2017

Jerusalem of Gold On my drive to Jerusalem this sunny morning following a stormy night, Israel’s capital revealed itself, shining and glowing, as if our beloved city isn’t sure whether to celebrate or to shy away from all the fuss it has just created. And yet the streets were decorated with Israeli and American flags, […]


A View from Jerusalem (November 2017)

November 29, 2017

Kaf-Tet B’November (29 November) Today the Jewish world marks one of the great moments in our modern history – the adoption of United Nations Resolution 181 recommending the end of the British Mandate and the formation of a Jewish state. The resolution also recommended setting up a separate Arab nation with special international regime for […]


A View from Jerusalem (October 2017)

October 24, 2017

Fall is in the air. A season of uncertainty. Unpredictable weather toys with summer’s swan song and winter’s hesitance to obscure our skies. Cold winds blow a mixture of leaves from where they lie on the ground like a wild, confused paint palette. During the summer of 2017, the world witnessed an overwhelming number of […]


A View from Jerusalem (September 2017)

September 18, 2017

Days of Awe The last days of Israel’s hot and steamy summer finally shorten. The air with cooler winds, heralding the longed for fall. Wandering birds fly high above, escaping Europe’s oncoming winter, looking for warmth and serenity. We are surrounded by the Days of Awe, days of self-reflection and examination, days of hope. Hopes […]


A View from Jerusalem (August 2017)

August 25, 2017

… no further than our own backyards Steamy hot August is one of Israel’s well-known features. One that attracts tourists from all over the world, escaping chillier and rainier summers to enjoy our wonderful beaches and sunny skies. But Israelis take for granted what others value, and during the month of August flee Israel’s high […]


A View from Jerusalem (July 2017)

July 24, 2017

For The Sake Of Heaven Today, the first of the Hebrew month of Av marks the 70th anniversary of the Exodus—symbol of Jewish despair and helplessness in the face of an apathetic world. Exodus, a packet steamer, carried 4,515 Jewish Holocaust survivors from France to Israel, then known as British Mandatory Palestine. Most of the emigrants had no […]


A View from Jerusalem - The Kotel

June 28, 2017

On Sunday, the Israeli government demonstrated the true meaning of politics by doing not necessarily what is right, or even what it believes in, but rather, took a long hard look at polls and did a calculated assessment of what would best ensure votes for the next elections. The government voted to freeze the implementation […]


A View from Jerusalem (June 2017)

June 14, 2017

True colors are beautiful …“But I see your true colors Shining through I see your true colors And that’s why I love you So don’t be afraid to let them show Your true colors True colors are beautiful Like a rainbow”… Cyndi Lauper   Tel Aviv, the first Hebrew city, also known as the “World’s []


A View from Jerusalem (May 2017)

May 24, 2017

“Jerusalem of Gold, and of Light and of Bronze, I am the Lute for all your Songs” “You’re shaking … so am I. It’s because of Jerusalem, isn’t it?“—Elie Wiesel Today, the 28th of Iyar marks the 50th anniversary of the unification of Jerusalem, the Jewish world’s capital. I was born and raised in Jerusalem—a fourth […]


A View from Jerusalem (April 2017)

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 […]


A View from Jerusalem (March 2017)

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.[…]


A Maccabean dream made for our times- A View from Jerusalem

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 […]


In a week of chaos, we hold fast to our dreams

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 […]


Healing the Wounds: Restoring Life in Haifa

December 2, 2016


New beginnings

November 11, 2016


The deepest love

August 18, 2016


Swifter than eagles, stronger than lions

July 12, 2016


White, Gold, Rainbow and everything in between. The many colors of Israel this week

June 10, 2016


A Nation in Mourning

May 11, 2016

A Mighty Nation

April 20, 2016

Two views,  One people

March 10, 2016 

A View from Jerusalem

February 14, 2016 

“We all want to hear children’s laughter and see hope in their eyes”

January 14, 2016

Terror Doesn't Discriminate

December 19, 2015

Illuminating the Darkness

November 12, 2015

My Heart is in the East

Shana Tova from Jerusalem

September 10, 2015

A Tale Of Two Cities

August 17, 2015

The language of art

July 15, 2015 

Pluralism, acceptance, love and hope 

June 16, 2015

The Beauty of Jerusalem 

May 14, 2015

The ways we remember

Israel’s Elections for the 20th Knesset

When the month of Adar arrives we should increase our joy! “

A View from Jerusalem

Hanukkah Message, in light of Israel’s upcoming elections

December15, 2014

A Reflection of the JCC Movement Solidarity Trip to Israel