My husband, Shai, and I made aliyah in 1976, three weeks after we were married. We were there for eight years until family illness brought us back to Atlanta. During those wonderful years, I founded two experimental kindergartens through the Hebrew University. We opened the first bookstore/coffee shop in Israel (called Sefer veSefel), had two of our three children, helped found a synagogue, made lifelong friends who would become family, and Shai (we!) served in the IDF.

Judy Robkin

Israel was our user’s manual. It taught us what we were capable of and then taught us to reach beyond that. Although we are not living there permanently, we own an apartment in Jerusalem, continue to be members of a shul and visit at least once a year. Our home in Atlanta is filled with Israeli art and Israeli music. All three of our children have spent numerous years in Israel as adults, and our youngest son, Ayal, served in the IDF.

Israel formed and informed who we are and what we stand for. It taught us to be proactive in life, to fight for the things we believe in, and, most of all, to live life with passion and commitment.

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