I feel blessed to live at the time of the rebirth and flourishing of the Jewish state. Israel has been a part of my Jewish identity since I put coins in the JNF blue box as a child. Israel continues to play a central role in my life as a Jewish professional and community volunteer.

When I think about Israel, I reflect on the countless memories I have of sacred moments I witnessed:

• Singing Hatikvah as the plane descends and we see Israel out the window.

• Chanting Shehecheyanu as we stand on a hilltop viewing the Old City.

Sherry Frank

• Welcoming Shabbat at the Kotel with song and dance and prayer.

• Witnessing the dedication of the National Council of Jewish Women’s Institute for Innovation in Education on Mount Scopus.

• Dancing on the tarmac with Soviet Jewish olim as they depart the plane.

• Shopping in the Cardo with our AJC Mission Undaunted participants weeks before the Gulf War.

• Hearing Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount” read by Christian leaders in AJC’s Project Interchange.

• Sharing new insights and camaraderie on Federation missions and Congregation Or Hadash trips.

• Marveling at the spontaneous basketball games that developed when bringing African-Americans to Ethiopian absorption centers.

• Studying on the rooftops in Jerusalem until dawn on Shavuot.

• Celebrating with friends for their children’s b’not mitzvah celebrations on top of Masada.

• Participating in heated political discussions during home hospitality when traveling with my Black/Jewish Sisters Group.

• Kvelling when my granddaughters returned enthusiastic and inspired from their Davis Academy and Weber School trips.

Happy 70th birthday, Israel!

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