In one word, “everything.” For me, as a proud Jew, Israel means the world. It is our past, our present and our future.

As a people, this is our Jewish homeland. I’ve been to Israel six times since 2013: four times with Friends of the Israel Defense Forces to meet the brave soldiers who ensure the safety and security of Israel and Jews everywhere; last summer by myself to further explore my passion for Israel; and, as I write, with my 11-year-old daughter, Jessica, on her first trip.

Seeing Israel through Jessica’s eyes has been remarkable.

Garry Sobel’s daughter, Jessica, prays at the Kotel after overcoming a fear of crowds to make her way to the Western Wall this year.

In Jerusalem, I couldn’t be prouder while watching Jessica weave her way alone through a massive crowd in the women’s section of the Kotel to put 30 notes in the Wall for Epstein classmates, friends and family. Her determination to conquer her fear of crowds to make it to the Wall was incredible. She would not be denied. As she walked back, she had a smile from ear to ear.

There were many other firsts experiencing Israel with her.

Watching Jessica fall in love with Israel and all its beauty is something I will never forget, and neither will she. Jessica represents our future. And our Jewish future is bright indeed. Am Yisrael chai!

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