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Israel comes To KMS

Yoni Heilman

 

Yom Haatzmaut marked Israel’s 70th birthday this year, and our community celebrated Israel "mine'areinu ve'ad zkeineinu" ( from our young to our old).

 

The celebrations started out with the somber note of Yom Hazikaron – KMS participated in a global learning initiative in memory of Israel’s fallen soldiers. From there,  Berman Hebrew Academy organized a wonderful community-wide program that brought us from the sorrow of loss to the triumph of independence, as we rang in Yom Ha’atzmaut with singing, dancing, and of course … food.

 

The celebrations continued the next afternoon, when Rabbi and Elana Weinberg hosted the second annual Yom Ha'atzmaut barbecue at KMS. The high winds didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits, as dozens of volunteers and what seemed like hundreds of toddlers descended on a room full of good food, live music, beautiful celebrations, and games.

 

Shabbat brought the first of our two incredible scholars-in-residence, both of whom focused on the theme of Israel’s leadership in bringing good to the world. Adina Navon, a native of Kemp Mill, spent Shabbat afternoon leading us through the field of social impact initiatives in Israel by presenting a close reading of Israel’s Declaration of Independence. We learned about the replication of an Israeli youth village in Rwanda, the growth of Israel’s nonprofit sector, and the challenges of fashioning a Declaration of Independence that reflected Israel’s understanding of its own purpose.

The following night, KMS hosted Dyonna Ginsburg, a renowned speaker and director of the OLAM organization, who spoke about Israel’s involvement in global social programs from 1948 until today. Dyonna covered everything from Golda Meir’s African diplomacy to IsraAID, and she challenged her audience to help bridge the divide between Jews who regard tikkun olam (repairing the world) as the purpose of their faith and those who see Israel as the crown jewel of the Jewish world.

 

Even if you missed our twin speakers, I hope you didn’t miss the Religious Zionism Series leading up to Yom Yerushalaim, which featured Rav Itiel Oron, our own Rabbi Weinberg, and this past Shabbat Jen Raskas.

 

Overall, it has been an incredible few weeks. For me, what was most rewarding was seeing how the programs engaged our members — young and old (and in between) with speakers, games, food, Torah and modern Zionist ideas, programs on Shabbat, on weekdays, at KMS and beyond. We hope this year will provide inspiration for even greater success in years to come — and thank you to our sponsors, members who participated, and the shul office for making our shul incredibly beautiful and our kiddush blue and white for the occasion.

 
Sun, May 27 2018 13 Sivan 5778