Congregation Etz Hayim at Hollis Hills Bayside

The consolidated communities of Hollis Hills Bayside Jewish Center and Marathon Jewish Community Center

Celebrating Israel’s 66th Anniversary

We recently celebrated YOM HA’ATZMAUT, Israel’s 66th Anniversary of Independence, and the SALUTE TO ISRAEL PARADE is coming up soon, on June 1st.

The celebration of our Jewish Homeland is glorious! For me, it brings tears to my eyes and astonishment to my mind. With all the dangers Israel faces with her surrounding enemies, with her small population and tiny piece of land, with all the criticism, obstacles and dissention she faces from countries across the world, she rises above it all and in just 66 short years, the State of Israel has become a virtual superpower in the world of technology, science, economics, and so much more.

Israel is considered one of the most advanced countries in her region, in economic and industrial development. It is reported that Israel has the second-largest number of startup companies in the world (after the United States) and the largest number of NASDAQ-listed companies outside North America. Our amazing State of Israel is one of the most economically developed countries and is ranked top in the rate of research and development. Israel has tremendous growth and advancement in agricultural and industrial areas. She exports electronics, communications technology, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, computer systems, chemicals, military technology, fruits, diamonds, etc., etc.

Let me continue…Israel is on the cutting edge of solar energy technology and is one of the world’s leaders in water technology.[update] As reported in The Jerusalem Post in a 2012 publication, three Israeli universities are ranked among the top 100 in the world, according to the 2012 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU); Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Weizmann Institute of Science, and Israel so proudly has many Nobel Laureates.

The first time I went to Israel was in 1966. I have gone almost every year since then and many years I’ve gone more than once. I have many family members living there. Some have been there since Israel’s birth, having escaped the Nazis, and some have made Aliyah over the years and are raising their children in our sacred country. I am amazed at the tremendous and remarkable advancements Israel has made with her infrastructure, construction, trade, restaurants, hotels, museums, universities, medical schools, cultural centers, and so many more astounding accomplishments that have been achieved in such a short period of time.

I realize that I am boasting. I also realize that Judaism teaches us to be humble and not to brag. BUT… I am just so proud of our Jewish homeland. I am proud and want to shout out to the world what a unique people we are and what we have accomplished in just 66 years. Yet, I know how fragile our circumstances and surroundings always remain.

Let us celebrate the State of Israel, our JEWISH HOMELAND, with pride and joy. Let us always pay homage to the first settlers who fought for Israel’s freedom and Independence and let us always keep Israel in our hearts and prayers.

See you in Shul.

Cantorially always,

Cantor Sol Zim