August 15, 2020 |

Gesher-Grade 7 Welcomes the Most Amazing Guests!

Posted on May 12, 2017

Where were you on May 14, 1948 the day on which Israel declared independence?  Most of us had not been born yet and for the Gesher students, neither had their parents but Israel Michaeli was a boy living in Jerusalem.  Israel, a Temple Israel member, shared his memories of that day with our Gesher students and he encouraged them to ask questions.  He remembers that it was very late at night due to the time difference between Jerusalem and New York.  They were listening closely the radio as each member of the UN cast his vote for or against Israel.  They weren’t sure which way the vote would go and so the listeners counted each vote, for and against, and when they realized that Israel had secured the majority required, and Ben Gurion made the announcement, the collective response was emotional, jubilant, exciting!  Even in the wee hours of the morning, there was clapping, singing, playing musical instruments and dancing in the streets.
The next day, seven Arab countries attacked Israel.  He remembers the rag-tag Israeli army composed of new immigrants, who were taken off ships, handed a rifle and sent to fight.  Was their victory against seven nations a miracle or a testament to their persistence, fortitude and faith?
Israel told us that he was born at the old Hadassah hospital on Mount Scopus.  His parents had come to Israel in the 1930’s and had built a life there, first on Kibbutz and then in the city.  He lived in Israel until 1964 when he moved to America and continues to love Israel and to Israel every year.
Shoshana Edelson, TELEM coordinator at the JCRC, met with Gesher students to present the TELEM program of service learning.  High school students who participate in TELEM engage in community service projects in one of five tracks; Hunger and Homelessness, Connecting Generations, Youth Engagement, Environmental Sustainability, or Special Needs.  TELEM emphasizes experiential learning in and out of the classroom as student not only engage in community service, they also study Jewish texts related to their track.  We are grateful to Shoshana for her inspiring presentation and to Robin Kahn for inviting her to speak.  For more information about TELEM, https://www.jcrcboston.org/telem/.