On May 8, 2008, The Jewish Theological Seminary’s year-long observance of Israel@60, honoring sixty years of Israeli independence, culminated with a day of festivities and careful reflection. JTS students, faculty, staff, and friends gathered on Yom Ha'atzma'ut 5768 for an inspiring day of camaraderie and learning, and to reflect on the daily challenges still faced by our counterparts in Israel. Highlights of the celebration included Shaharit and Minhah services, learning sessions with representatives of Bina: Center for Jewish Identity and Israeli Culture, a cutting-edge Israeli educational organization; a barbecue lunch with live music by Randy Herman (H. L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music), Joel Seltzer (The Rabbinical School) and friends; Israeli dancing with Shalhavet (the JTS/Barnard/Columbia Israeli dance troupe); and a panel on the future of Zionism and American–Israeli relations, moderated by JTS Chancellor Arnold Eisen. Panelists included Ruth Calderon, founder and director of Alma Home for Hebrew Culture in Tel Aviv, Haifa, and New York; Yael Zerubavel, professor of Jewish Studies and History and founding director of the Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life at Rutgers University; and Muki Tsur, member of the Bina advisory board, writer, historian, and former secretary general of the United Kibbutz Movement.
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