Greetings from Israel!

Yesterday I stood with great humility and pride in front of the sign at a park in Afula and listened to Matt Seltzer, who was standing next to his father with tears gently cascading down his cheeks, explain to our Men's Mission the story behind "Bernie's Park". This beautiful children's playground was built by his grandfather Bernard Waldman, a Blessed Memory. A few days earlier, as I approached the Kotel, I witnessed something so many parents dream of­­ Jeffrey Hoffman, with each of his sons in a loving embrace, as they together touched the Wailing Wall and shared a moment that transcends both time and space.

Our mission may be over, but our collective journey has just begun. We left for Israel with separate identities. Some did not know each other; some had never been to Israel. All of us are parents, and a few had the unique opportunity of sharing Israel with their sons. We left separate but returned as a tight knit brotherhood; who cried together, prayed together and did a whole lot of laughing together.

We are returning with a deeper understanding of the complex security, economic and social conditions that make up our Homeland. Armed with this knowledge and a deeper appreciation of the real impact our Federation makes each day in the lives of our fellow Jews in Israel, these 27 new ambassadors are ready to lead our community to new heights.

Shabbat Shalom,


Howard Sovronsky
President & CEO


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