Prior to the establishment of the state of Israel, Jews in America were not full-scale citizens. There was no corporation in America that Jews worked for. There were no banks that Jews worked for. That’s why Jews had to open their own law firms and business on Wall Street. I was not able to get into medical school because they had a 10 percent quota on Jews, and it kind of crushed me at that time because I always wanted to be a doctor.

Life changed as the people in America began to realize that Jews were fighters and were willing to put their lives on the line to create the state of Israel. It was not an easy task for them, and the world watched with amazement as this small group of people was able to overcome millions of people who were antagonistic to them.

Bernie Marcus

What happened afterward is history. Slowly but surely, corporations, banks, law firms opened up to Jews, and we became full citizens after some period of time. So being Jews in America, we owe everything to the state of Israel. And I worry about our young people who don’t really remember this story or know anything about it or are given misinformation in their colleges or universities. We should all be concerned as Jews that Israel remains the home of the Jews and the one place that Jews will always feel safe.

See all the reflections on Israel’s meaning on this special anniversary.