A trip to Israel always gives us a feeling of wonderment. We’ve been there 25 times since 1967. We are proud of our Jewish homeland. It’s our destiny.

In 70 years Israel has accomplished so very much: renowned high-tech institutions and world-class universities, music, art, science, medicine, 12 Nobel laureates, hundreds of yeshivas.

From the excitement on Ben Yehuda Street to the quiet beauty of the reclaimed Negev desert, Israel captures our heart and soul.

We’ve visited with young soldiers on the Syrian border in the north and the next day touched down at the Red Sea resort of Eilat, a favorite destination of European vacationers.

Perry and Shirley Brickman

Tel Aviv continues to explode with innovative initiatives. In March, Google began operating its new accelerator, its first machine learning program outside the United States.

Only an hour away, we find ourselves in Jerusalem, our spiritual home, where we walk the familiar cobblestone streets leading to the Kotel. We feel safe as we mingle with uniformed 18-year-old boys and girls, just out of high school and proudly protecting their country. We could almost hear them saying, “Enjoy the sights; we’re looking out for you.” You want to hug each one of them — and their Uzis.

We have childhood memories of our parents teaching us to lovingly place coins in the JNF pushke, the money going to our Jewish brothers and sisters in Palestine. Now we have Israel Bonds, JNF, Federation and so many others. Am Yisrael chai!

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