"The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works, is the family" ~ Lee Iacocca
As we celebrate Family Day in Israel today I pause to mull over the meaning of family and the centrality of this societal unit in Judaism. The Jewish people are first and foremost a family. Daily life, ritual and the passing on of our tradition all have the family at their core. It is through the Jewish family that our survival rests, both as a unique people and as a tradition. It is through the lens of family that we view the past, live the present and have hope for the future
I recently had the privilege and honor to represent World WIZO at WIZO Finland's milestone 90th anniversary celebrations that paid tribute to their remarkable contribution to the Jewish community, WIZO and the Zionist Enterprise. This small close-knit community welcomed me with open arms, reinforcing my belief that WIZO means family.
Sadly this week we were reminded that Israel and the Jewish people are on the front lines of the war being waged by terrorists against the west and the entire free world. Once again, a Jew was murdered on European soil just because he was a Jew. We need to stand tall and strong against this terror, to be guided by the teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov who believed that the essential thing in life is not to be afraid “The world is a narrow bridge and the main thing is not to fear at all.”
With warm regards,
Chairperson, Organization and Tourism Division.
10 hours of fear and loathing in Paris
One month after the terrorist attack on the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Paris, Zvika Klein a reporter for the Hebrew news outlet NRG, silently walked in the city for ten hours wearing a kippah and tzitzit (fringes) and filmed the public's reaction using a hidden camera. The shocking clip shows antisemitism is rife in the French capital as he is seen being harassed and intimidated. View the clip...
Is Europe too dangerous for Jews?
Deborah Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University is one of a handful of scholars to have enriched our understanding of the dynamics of contemporary antisemitism. Lipstadt became a household name in 2000, when she successfully defended a libel case brought to a British court by the notorious Holocaust denier David Irving. She argues that while comparing the current situation in Europe to the 1930s isn’t helpful, antisemitism still presents a grave challenge “to those who value a free, democratic, open, multicultural and enlightened society.” Read more...
Rock in the red zone
On the edge of Israel’s Negev Desert, half a mile from Gaza, lies Sderot. Despite being pummeled for years by Qassam missiles, the people of Sderot persevere. In raucous Moroccan celebrations, they embrace newcomers. In quiet family dinners, they voice their dreams. And in underground bomb shelters, they create music – a unique Sderot sound that has transformed Israeli music by injecting Middle Eastern influences into traditional Western beats. ROCK IN THE RED ZONE is the story of filmmaker Laura Bialis' own personal journey but also chronicles the town's trauma and reveals its enduring spirit. Read more...
Family Day: When talk and not tech take over the dinner table
Family day is a relatively new holiday in the constantly evolving Israeli culture. Originally created as Mother’s day in honor of Henrietta Szold, the founder of Hadassah ‐ in recent years, Mother’s day evolved into the somewhat more politically correct “Family day.” Throughout Israel, the holiday is used as a way of honoring the family, and all its members.
In the age of digital communication we seem to have forgotten what it means to simply be together; to engage with each other in a meaningful way. We need to return to basics, so let's look up, look at one another and start the conversation that will enhance positive communication. Read more...
Georgia:a Jewish journey along the silk road
At the crossroads of Europe and Asia, the Republic of Georgia has been home to one of the oldest Jewish Diasporas in the world. Jews have lived in the country over 2600 years, according to sources, beginning with the Babylonian exile. For much of the two millennia, Georgian Jews lived without anti-Semitism. From a high point of 100,000 Jews, only about 3000 remain, largely Sephardic, observant and almost all living in the capital, Tiblisi. Read more...
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Compiled by World WIZO Organization & Tourism Division Editor-in-chief: Janine Gelley Co-editors: Lisa Moss, Raquel Dar