Israel Advocacy at Rimon Club JCC

I was invited by Masha Merkulova , a powerhouse of Jewish education and a fantastic person in general, to give a talk to the awesome Rimon Club she founded several years ago. The concept? Provide a social group where kids can learn about their Jewish heritage and their ties to Israel. In a few years Masha has amassed a loud cheerful gaggle of teens to learn about their history. The kids seem to love it and they seem to enjoy a sense of identity and purpose, beyond the usual rubbish they and I liked during our teens.

Intresting questions about how to defend their link to Israel, while being constantly attacked at school.
Intresting questions about how to defend their link to Israel, while being constantly attacked at school.

Masha forwarded me this note about one the kids enjoying our talk from one of the parents:

I have never seen … so excited after club Z as he was yesterday. In fact I have not seen him excited about anything for awhile.
Ben has to give  a speech in his English class next week (part of the curriculum). He chose Middle East conflict from Israel perspective as his topic. What he wrote over weekend was quite mediocre. He came home last night and worked until pass 1am to rewrite it. I liked the final product :)
His English teacher is a Berkeley graduate… We’ll see what grade he gets ;)


Israel 101 at Santa Cruz University, CA

Amidst the fighting in Gaza with IAF air strickes against Hamas missiles, 1.5 million Israelis dodging missiles lobbed at them I gave a talk in UC Santa Cruz. I was invited by the fantastic “SLUGS” AKA as the “Santa Cruz Israel Action Committee”. The event took place in the Stevenson Fireside Lounge in Stevenson College. My benevolent hosts: Barry Jacobs and Danielle Maimon. They were fantastic. The session lasted 2.5 hours with over 50 attendees.

You can listen to the session, attached as a podcast.

Heavy Gates of Gaza – Moshe Dayan 1956

As relevant today as it was back then. Truly my personal “I believe” when it comes to Israel.

Moshe Dayan in Tel Aviv (09), Photo by Guy Eisner

“Yesterday at dawn Ro’i was murdered…

…The quiet of the spring morning blinded him and he didn’t notice the ambush in the field… let’s not accuse the murderers today… for eight years they have been sitting in their refugee camps while we build our country in front of their eyes on a land of their old villages and forefathers… a group of Jewish youngsters, sitting in Nahal Oz, are carrying on their shoulders the heavy gates of Gaza…. This is our destiny and this is our only choice of life here: to be ready, to be armed and to be tough… we have to be able to defend ourselves…. Let’s face it: If the sword falls out of our fists, our lives here are cut off.”
Translated by Itai Dewar