April 21, 2023

Celebrating Israel in Israel

Dov Ben-Shimon Federation CEO

I’m in Israel for a series of meeting to work with our partners on the ground, including the Jewish Agency for Israel, whose Board meeting starts on Sunday morning. I’ve also been asked to represent Greater MetroWest at a number of Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day) and Yom HaAtzmaut (Independence Day) commemorations and celebrations. You can generally find those updates on my social media pages like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. I’ll also spend some time doing short interviews with our partners on the ground on how they’re viewing the key issues and challenges that Israel is facing. Speaking of which, join me on Tuesday (April 25) for Erev Yom Haatzmaut, the eve of Israel’s Independence Day. I’ll be live from the Einav Center in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square at 12:30pm EST (7:30pm Israel time), in a panel of amazing smart and talented people (plus me) discussing Israel’s Declaration of Independence, in a shared dialogue with the past as a way to develop the narrative of the Jewish People into the future. Our Jewish Federation is providing live simultaneous translation, and you can register here. Right before Pesach, GMW hosted a group of 19 teens from the Rishon LeZion Diller cohort. Each of these teens stayed in the home of a Greater MetroWest fellow as they bonded during the week, learned together, and built a living bridge between our communities. During the day when our teens were at school, the Israelis travelled in and around the Greater MetroWest area to learn about what Jewish life in America and the United States is all about. I met with them too, and was really impressed and inspired by them. Their week concluded with a Shabbaton weekend retreat, where they explored the cultural differences between American and Israeli Jews, and also found the things that bring us closer together. Overall, this was an unforgettable week of learning, new experiences, and building friendships that will last a lifetime. Our teens are looking forward to re-joining the Rishon LeZion cohort when they travel to Israel this summer!