Monday, July 7, 2014

In Search of Zionism on the Ground

Today we travel to Israel.  The guiding question of our journey is, "What is Zionism Today?" This trip has been in the planning phases for over a year, and 20 of us now turn ayin leTzion our eyes to Zion and look to both the past and the future in order to understand the present.

With all proper precautions, we go to Jerusalem and recognize that peace is still elusive.  But the story of Jerusalem must be understood in the scope of our history, not just the past century. We will journey through the centuries and be reminded of what is truly at stake in our own life times.

We will go south and visit our sister community in Arad, meeting and davening with the leaders of Shira Hadashah there.  Mayor Tali Ploskov will meet with us as we learn about the Ethiopian aliyah in that area. We will grow our relationships and form new friendships.  We will turn to Beersheva and meet the mayor of the jewel of the south along with the history of our ancestors long before diaspora became a part of Jewish history.

In the south we hope to meet those who face the lack of peace most regularly, and learn how they live in such times. We will also see the work of the Jewish National Fund on the ground. We will visit a special needs center, a kibbutz and tour the desert by jeep.

And in the end, we will return to the modern beginning in Tel Aviv, visiting the Hall of Independence, Rabin Square and more.

Each day we will post reflections and images of our journey here, in hopes that all of B'nai Shalom can join us in our congregational mission. Look back each day with us, and post your comments.  Knowing that you are with us helps us to fly on eagles' wings.

I look forward, with God's help, to showing you who we meet and sharing their stories with you, and to seeing you again soon at the end of our journey.

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