JTS Celebrates Israel@60

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950
Email: nijacobson@jtsa.edu

January 18, 2008, New York, NY

“This country made us a people; our people made this country.” (Ben Gurion)

In celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel, The Jewish Theological Seminary, alongside Jews around the globe, is offering students, faculty, and staff myriad opportunities to mark this historic moment.

“On May 8, we will be marking and celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of Israeli independence—a truly joyous moment in Jewish history. We must bear in mind, however, that this anniversary comes amidst a worrisome decline—in attachment to Israel on the part of American Jews,” stated Chancellor Arnold Eisen.

“So, in addition to the events, activities, and forums JTS will hold to honor this milestone anniversary, we will do all we can to make sure that by the seventieth, Israelis and American Jews will be more closely related to one another and appreciative of the parallel paths on which they are seeking to build Jewish communities and revitalize Jewish tradition. We have the resources to foster exchanges of faculty, students, and supporters. We have the resources, too, for the conceptual work needed to overcome the growing gap between Israeli and American Jews,” he added.

Sponsored by JTS’s Israel Va’ad, opportunities to celebrate Israel will range from an Israeli film series to thought-provoking lunch-and-learn sessions with Israeli speakers. Also scheduled are student discussions on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict with the Jewish Dialogue Group; chug aliyah for students exploring making aliyah to Israel in the future; the Mercaz USA/World Zionist Congress voter registration drive; and Shulchan Ivrit, the weekly option to hone one’s Hebrew speaking skills by having lunch at an all-Hebrew speaking table.

In addition, the Israel Va’ad will be sponsoring a concert featuring JTS cantorial school students that will benefit Alyn Children’s Hospital in Jerusalem, a Tu Bishevat seder, and the Yom Hazikkaron commemoration. The festivities will culminate on May 8 with a day-long Yom Ha’atzmau’ut celebration, a full day of learning, music, dance, food, and festivities.

For further information about JTS activities celebrating Israel, contact studentlife@jtsa.edu. To learn about programs and events being sponsored by the Conservative Movement, visit www.israelanniversary.org.

Editors/Reporters: For further information, contact Sherry S. Kirschenbaum in the Department of Communications at (212) 678-8953.