Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
I am incredibly grateful to be writing this week’s Shabbat Message from Israel. I feel so blessed to be back (my 41st visit to Israel, BTW). I am traveling with 15 accomplished, bright and passionate Jewish men from the Valley and they are representing us well!
Today we headed to the city of Ramat Gan and the ‘Ilan’ Spivak Center. At the Federation-funded JDC Accessible Health Zone, local Israeli youth and adults with disabilities benefit from the planned activities that meet their needs and participate in rousing games of wheelchair basketball. Members of our group had the opportunity to use the wheelchairs and play a friendly game. Needless to say, the home team had it all over us.
This week’s Torah portion is Emor (speak). The portion discusses the counting of the days between Passover and Shavuot. Ironically, our men’s mission happens to be in Israel during Lag Baomer (the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer) and we are blessed to be here. It is amazing to see the programs and services made possible by the generosity of our community’s donors.
May our group be touched by the Federation-funded work we see and the impact it makes. May G-d give each of our participants the strength to come home and tell these important stories to all who will listen.
A special thanks to our mission co-chairs Steve Hilton and Jay Stein who made this Israel experience a reality, and to Federation COO Robin Loeb for working with our tour operator to craft such an excellent itinerary.
Shabbat Shalom from Israel!
Chief Executive Officer