The Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix is hosting an interfaith men’s mission of community leaders to Israel to develop a better understanding of our cultures and forge relationships that can benefit our local and global community.
by Mike Primorac, President of Mediant Health Resources
It’s 71 degrees for our final day in Tel Aviv and we’re off to visit IsraAID, an Israel-based international, emergency response organization.
We were fortunate to spend an inspirational morning with Noam Gershoni, a paralympic medalist. He was critically injured in the second Lebanon war and lost the use of both legs. Even so, he pushed himself and won a gold medal for wheelchair tennis in the 2012 Paralympic games in London.
Then we met with Yotam Polizer, co-CEO of IsraAID. He shared how the organization helps with a variety of crises around the world, including with the Mexican and Nepal earthquakes, Greek Syrian refugees, Japan tsunami, West Africa Ebola, Northern California wildfires, even hurricanes.
After lunch, we enjoyed an afternoon riding scooters along the beach. It was my first time on a scooter and I must say this was a highlight of the trip – from Old Jaffa to Frishman and Metsitsim beaches. Everyone was smiling from ear-to-ear.
We had a pleasant and emotional concluding dinner back at the hotel. It was a nice way to celebrate our time together and to reflect on the week. So many memories made in such a condensed period of time all culminating with us joining our brother, Tamir, outside to honor the one-minute memorial siren opening the eve of the Israeli Memorial Day.
I thank all these men from varied faiths for sharing their lives with me. I look forward to seeing them all again soon and to seeing what we accomplish with what we’ve learned from the friendships we’ve forged.