I am blogging on very little sleep, and lots of emotion, so I hope this makes sense.
The Campaign Chairs and Directors Mission is on the move, from the city of Saloniki, which was once the largest Jewish community in the Diaspora, to a Jewish summer camp run with the support we give to the Jewish Agency for Israel. The history of Jewish identity in Greece is very different than in the former Soviet Union. Jews have been in Greece for thousands of years, until the murder of 87 percent of the population in the Holocaust. We have visited with the small Jewish community here for the last three days and will fill you in on more in the days to come.
What I want to share with you right now is that after we finish our visit to camp, this mission will be heading to Israel. It is a decision we made with great thoughtfulness and with advice from the JFNA Israel office, making sure that we are not adding to the issues on the ground and that we will have meaningful content for the almost 120 participants from across the United States.
As always, I cannot wait to be in our homeland, even during — especially during a time like this. When we met with Minos Moisses, the head of the Jewish community in Athens, he was discussing both the economic and political challenges facing the Greek Jewish community and he said, "We are worried, we are alert, but we are not afraid." They are not afraid because, unlike during the Shoah, there is a Jewish State. We pray for her soldiers, some of whom are our former rishonim (emissaries), her people, many of whom are our friends, and for peace.