I cannot understand the modern state of Israel as a separate phenomenon apart from Zionism. While Zionism enjoys many definitions, for me it is the movement that recognized the historical need to establish a home for the Jewish people based on the failure of the experiment of galut (exile).

Rabbi Russ Shulkes

However, the state’s very existence has allowed it to become so much more. As the Jewish world for the most part is bifurcated between two Jewish centers — the United States and Israel — Israel many times plays the trump card in directing the future of Jewish thought and practice.

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