A daily news update by Leah Garber, VP, JCC Israel Center
Operation Protective Edge — Day 17
Operation Protective Edge’s 17th day brings more rockets fired into Israel, hard-fought battles in Gaza, and the discovery of more deadly tunnels, which have been exposed and destroyed with explosives. So far 31 tunnels have been exposed, preventing terrorist attacks and the many tragedies and civilian deaths that go with them.
For more than two weeks now millions of Israelis have lived their day-to-day lives under the threat of rocket attacks. It’s an unbelievable reality, and it’s awful to think that we are almost used to it. You hear the siren, stop doing whatever you’re doing, run into the shelter, wait for 10 minutes and carry on…..This is not a reality anyone wants to get used to.
Our strength is our ability to continue with our normal daily lives as much as possible. We all know that the show must go on! And so you might think things are glum and tense 24/7, with all that is going on, tonight is a relatively festive one here in Israel: We have a new president!
Just a few hours ago, with little pomp and circumstance, Israel held an inauguration for Reuven Rivlin, the country’s 10th president. Known as Rubi, Rivlin is a Jerusalemite, and known as a warm, low-key mensch.
Politically, President Rivlin right wing and opposed to a Palestinian state. But under his new title, he has already declared that, “The depth of the conflict demands of us to find ways to communicate.”
He believes that Israelis and Palestinians have the shared need to build trust — not just between the leaders, but also between the people living here. And trust can only be based on open and ongoing dialogue, and mutual understanding and acceptance.
Because the inauguration took place amidst fighting, the ceremonies were respectful and not as flashy as usual. But they set just right tone and provided a bit of uplift for Israelis’ spirit. The ceremony took place at Israel’s Knesset, or parliament, and included past and current Knesset members, current Israeli delegates, judges, rabbis and foreign diplomats. This year southern towns and cities’ mayors were invited as well, representing their communities strength, having born the brunt of the missile strikes going back several years.
They urged Israel’s Defense Force (IDF) to continue the fight against Hamas, knowing they are suffering daily through the battles. They do not want our troops to stop before eliminating all tunnels, rockets and terror threats. Only then can we restore peace to the south. Southern Israelis are strong; they are fighters, but they are tired. They want to end the 14 years of Hamas violence. They want to restore peace and security. And they have been patient. These mayors have led their suffering communities through the terror of the past 17 days. Some have led them through years of missile attacks. But they never forget to inspire hope and offer a brighter future.
By inviting them to President Rivlin’s inauguration, Israel paid them, and their communities, respect and thanked them for their leadership. May President Rivlin’s term be associated with Israel’s success, prosperity and peace.
The JCC is Going to Israel. Join us...See Israel in a Whole New Way!
Israel: A Mosaic of Communities
November 8 - 18, 2014
We've had this trip planned and now more than ever think it's important to consider joining your friends from the JCC of Central NJ for this once-in-a-lifetime trip to Israel in November 2014!
We depart on Saturday, November 8 and arrive in Israel Tuesday, November 18 when the experience begins. We start off in Jerusalem and then head to Galilee and Tel Aviv. This amazing trip, which offers both group activities and time on your own, includes sightseeing, actual and educational trips through ancient and contemporary communities, exploration of the kibbutz, a culinary workshop, shopping and so much more. Click here for a sample of the itinerary.
Here are other helpful documents to help you learn more and to register.
We are very excited about this trip and thrilled you will be joining us! Please follow these simple registration directions to ensure that your registration is complete.
1. If you are going alone, please click on the INDIVIDUAL PARTICIPANT REGISTRATION FORM LINK below and type in your information. Once complete, click submit.
2. If you are going as a couple, click on the DOUBLE PARTICIPANT REGISTRATION FORM LINK below and type in your information. Once complete, click submit.
Double Participant Instructions
Double Participant Registration Form
3. Next, click here for the PAYMENT FORM. A $500 deposit is required by June 15, 2014. Please fill it out and click submit. If you are paying by check you must send that separately.
4. Finally, you must make your own FLIGHT ARRANGEMENTS. If you prefer, you can be in touch directly with Sharon Rockman about GROUP BOOKINGS (email@example.com or 908-347-7785). If you make your own flight arrangements, please BE SURE TO ARRIVE IN JERUSALEM on Sunday, November 9, 2014 by 4:00 p.m. Check in will be at the Inbal Hotel beginning at 2:00 p.m. Please be sure to DEPART FROM TEL AVIV on Monday, November 17, 2014 in the evening.
5. We provide a basic HEALTH INSURANCE PACKAGE during your visit to Israel. Please note that for participants over 65, there will be a surcharge. There is no deductible. The insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions, those who have been diagnosed with cancer in the past five years, dental care or eye glasses.
6. For TRAVEL, EXTENDED HEALTH OR LOSS LUGGAGE INSURANCE, you may contact JCC Association Preferred Vendor:
Director, Sales and Marketing
U.S.: (888) 747-3773
For more information and to RSVP for the parlor meetings, contact Sharon Rockman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 908-347-7785.