…an Israel Committee was formed to further these goals.
by Nancy Ruth.
During my years of growing up in Boston, Israel was neither astate nor a topic of conversation!
Saying “next year in Jerusalem” at our family Seder was the only time I heard about Israel (Palestine) until I went to Religious School in a classic reform temple. Even then, it was barely mentioned – this was in the 1930s and 40s – before the horrors of the Holocaust began to unfold. My family didn’t seem to know nor be a part of what was happening outside of the United States. But by the middle of the 1940’s that changed and slowly I became more conscious of what changes were taking place in the world.
Did I do anything about these changes? Not really! Only after moving to Toronto in 1956 and joining Holy Blossom Temple did I seem to evolve into “another person”. My children’s attendance at Religious School, under the direction of Heinz Waschauer, and his subsequent convincing me to become a Religious School teacher, were mainly responsible for the “new me”! Shortly after starting my teaching assignment, I was presented with the Norman GrantEducation Award which allowed me to study for a month in Israel with reform educators and learn about Israel in depth. From then on, I knew that Israel (the land and the people) would be a part of who I am.
I cannot imagine, and wonder, how my parents and grandparents would react today. Probably in disbelief – but I would hope – with a great sense of pride.
Over the years, I saw Holy Blossom realize the need to increase our understanding and knowledge of the importance of Israel in our lives, and so along with a strong Israel curriculum in our Religious School, an Israel Committee was formed to further these goals. In my youth, who would have ever believed that this would happen!
Now that I have retired as a teacher, being active on the Temple’s Israel committee has given me the opportunity to carry on the ideals that are not only important to me, but important in Jewish life today.
Promoting, developing and sponsoring programs about Israel, as well as encouraging travel to Israel, has put our Temple in the forefront of “moving forward” and I am proud to be a part of it!