Israel means stepping off the 1970 El Al flight as a new immigrant on a hot June day. Israel means six months of Hebrew studies at an absorption center.

Harry Stern

Israel means Russian immigrants welcomed, arriving from gulag prisons and institutions. Israel means Shoshana, the florist, thrusting Shabbat bouquets at me for our daughter. Israel means witnessing Anwar Sadat’s plane descend for a Menachem Begin meeting.

Israel means passing the Israel Museum and Knesset daily on my way to Hebrew University. Israel means the universal center of Jewish life.

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