Seeing Yom Ha’atzmaut Through New Eyes

by Natalie Perach Every year on Yom Ha’atzmaut I celebrate Israel’s independence because I am Israeli. I celebrate because I am Jewish. I celebrate because I am the granddaughter of Zionist pioneers who made the land of Israel a reality. I celebrate to honor my grandmother who at the age of 16 left her family and life in Germany and moved to build the land that would soon be known as Israel. I celebrate because I am the daughter of an Israeli military and intellectual machine who for six long years risked his life to defend the livelihood of his people as a Captain and Paratrooper Commander in the Israeli army. I celebrate on behalf of my culture and my family’s history. And this year I celebrate in light of my own experiences. This Yom Ha’atzmaut I celebrate the effervescence of Jewish life … [Read more...]

5 Questions with … Rachel Brody

Launch Night- Rachel Brody

by Abigail Pickus This is the last of a three-part series Rachel Brody, 26, grew up in Houston, Texas, and received a B.A. from Texas State University and an M.A. from George Mason University. From an early age, she found herself drawn to working with those with special needs. But it wasn’t until her first visit to Israel in 2009 that she realized the intricate connection between her Jewishness and her dedication to inclusion. Then in her second year of teaching special education in the Metro D.C. area, Rachel joined a pilot cohort of her fellow Teach For America corps members on the REALITY Israel Experience program, which brings a select group of corps members to Israel for 10 days to explore Israel’s education and social justice systems, gain exposure to top Israeli leaders and thinkers, … [Read more...]

5 Questions with … Rabbi Marc Rosenstein

Reality at Shorashim

by Abigail Pickus This is the second of a three-part series. Rabbi Marc Rosenstein, 64, moved to Israel from the United States in 1990 and settled on Moshav Shorashim in the Galilee, then a small community founded by a group of young American immigrants. Ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), he worked in the States as a pulpit Rabbi and a high school principal. Today, he is the director of the Israeli Rabbinic Program of HUC-JIR and also the director of The Galilee Foundation for Value Education - Shorashim, which uses informal education to build bridges between Arabs and Jews, Jews and Jews, and Israel and the Diaspora. Its programs include a Jewish-Arab youth circus and a Hebrew-Arabic regional internet newspaper. Recently, Marc addressed the REALITY … [Read more...]