The Declaration of Independence granted freedom, justice, and peace to everyone, guaranteed freedom of religion, and safeguarded the holy places of all faiths also extended a hand "to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborliness." It appealed to them "to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel was prepared, the Declaration continued, "to do its share in common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East."
Two thousand years of waiting to be restored to our homeland—two thousand years of longing, wandering, and suffering— came to an end. And sixty years later we still celebrate the miracle, even as the vision is yet to be fully realized.
For thousands of years Jewish tradition has seen visiting Israel and making aliyah as a holy mitzvah. It has been a part of our traditional liturgy for centuries, an integral part of several prayers. As you are reading this, there is a good chance that some your Temple Beth Ami family are walking the streets of Jerusalem, planning the next trip or currently living there.
This year we will be celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s 70th Independence Day, with festivities open to our community, Sunday, April 15th, beginning at 10 AM. We are honored to be hosting Moe Blumin, TBA board member Kim Fogel’s grandfather, as a special speaker. Moe was born in 1931 in pre-state Israel. He joined to Hagganah at age 14, the Palmach at 16 was wounded in the line of duty at 18. He will share his amazing story of fighting in Israel's War of Independence, 1948-49.
Last year Temple Beth Ami visited Israel for the sixth time in the last decade. Rest assured, if you missed a previous trip you will have another opportunity soon. On our next trip we will have another opportunity to celebrate B’nai Mitzvah in Jerusalem, and there will be new experiences and discoveries on our future journeys to Israel. Temple Beth Ami is committed to bringing people of all ages to rejoice in the land of our history and future, as we live out the dream, L’shanah ha-ba’ah B’Yeruslayim, Next Year in Jerusalem.