Raise your flags high for remembrance and celebration

There are times I marvel at what incredible times we are living through. This weekend I will join in a panel on religious freedoms, from a Jewish community leadership outlook, with a lens to why religion is significant to the community. If you are looking for a break from the sunny weather this Sunday afternoon, please join me and register for free.

The panel I am taking part in is timely; today is the last Friday of Ramadan, and it was heartening to see pictures of over 130,000 people praying peacefully on the Temple Mount. Israel has ensured freedom of worship for all, including thousands attending the Holy Fire Ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (with their request to ensure internal participants limited to 1,800 people). With plenty of misinformation circulating on social media, it is important that we acknowledge these facts.

This Sunday is also significant as our local contingent to the March of the Living will set forth on their journey. Let us together wish them safe travels and a meaningful experience. 

With Passover behind us, we are entering the days from Remembrance to Celebration. Hardworking volunteers and staff have been organizing to bring purposeful and joyous opportunities for our community to congregate. Beginning with Yom Hashoah on Tuesday, we will have an indoor commemoration ceremony at the Legislature. All are welcome to join. We appreciate the Talmud Torah School participation and look forward to the choir joining us for Yom Ha’atzmaut as well. Yom Hazikaron, a night to remember fallen Israeli soldiers and victims of terror, will take place in the evening of April 24. 

Many people in the community are celebrating Israel's 75th birthday, and we are doing everything we can to make the celebrations enjoyable and accessible. A free family fun afternoon will be held Sunday, April 23 from 3 to 5 p.m. at Westridge Community League.

The community celebration will happen on Tuesday, April 25, at 7:30 p.m. with an opportunity to enjoy a concert of Israeli classics. We encourage you to purchase tickets ahead of time

Celebrating together allows us to connect with one another and with our culture. Celebrating Israel together keeps us connected to our Jewish homeland, while strengthening our local community. Let us take inspiration from the Dee family, who lost two of their daughters, Maia and Rina, and their wife and mother, Lucy, to a terrorist attack over Passover. May their memories be a blessing. 

The resiliency and pride of the Dee family to unite to support Israel with a social media flag campaign was inspiring. The Efrat community, as expressed in this article, explains how they are coping through this crisis, supporting one another and the Dee family. “We are in pain, but united. We cry, but are undaunted. We bury our dead in the ground, and raise our flag high.”  

Let’s follow their example and raise our flags high as we move from remembrance to celebration in our community.

Shabbat shalom,