I’m going to Israel at the end of June. I have meetings, site visits, and all kinds of things planned. I’m also attending the Board of Governors meetings of our partner, the Jewish Agency for Israel. The Jewish Agency’s work is critical for our sense of who we are as a Jewish community. It’s because of them we have 10 shlichim (Israeli emissaries) here in Greater MetroWest, the largest cohort in the United States. Our shlichim work in day schools, JCCs, synagogues, and around the community to help promote Jewish education and community life. It’s because of the Jewish Agency we have such a strong connection to places like Arad and Ofakim.
But this time I’m also bringing my kids.
I’m bringing my kids because it’s important to have partnerships that aren’t just academic and intellectual.* It’s important to have partnerships that are, as we call them, living bridges. They form real deep and meaningful relationships and connections. They have layers of emotion and warmth. And they help us build and strengthen the Jewish community at home, too.
For several days, around the 24th of June, I’m going with my kids to see who we are in Ofakim, Merhavim, Arad, and Erez. I want to see for myself how we do family-friendly missions and visits. No doubt we’ll have some animal encounters. Copious amounts of ice cream and other kid-friendly treats will definitely be in the plan. But we’ll also be looking at how we create more opportunities for visits, encounters, and meaningful contact. We’ll be visiting our Federation sites, our programs and partners, and finding ways to make new connections.
Ideas, recommendations, escorts welcome. And we’ll post great photos, too.
*Some of my best friends are academic and intellectual. Not a put-down.
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