Dear Friends of Makom Bagalil,
The miracle of Chanukah is expressed in the story of the miracle of the cruse of oil. Despite the very small amount of oil, which did not inspire much hope, it managed to give light for eight days. A miracle of eight days is actually a composite of eight miracles. A day and one more day, and another. Every day is a compound of miracles, little and big, personal miracles and miracles of a nation.
The hope for change, for creation of a better reality with a better sense of justice and equality, demands hard work and a great belief that change is possible.
At times, in the complicated and complex situations and reality we live in, to believe in the possibility of change is as if to believe in miracles. Fortunately, we know that miracles do happen. We experience them quite frequently on a personal level and on the societal and national levels.
We, at the Galilee Foundation for Value Education, work hard and we see the fruits of our efforts. We know we are making a change and we believe miracles for a better society happen every day. We just try to make them happen more often.
Best wishes for a joyous Chanukah!
The benefit evening in Karmiel, described elsewhere in this newsletter, was a breakthrough for us in reaching out to a large local audience in a mainstream venue.
Click to view a selection of photos of the show.
And click to view a feature that appeared on the Israel Channel Two youth news magazine in Hebrew (forward to minute 16).
The circus benefit event in honor of my retirement was a wonderful evening, moving for me due to the many friends and colleagues who sent messages for the tribute site, but also gratifying because the event itself was an affirmation of what we are trying to do here: We sold out the Karmiel Culture Center (700 seats) for a performance of our Galilee Circus with guest artists - a mixed audience of Arabs and Jews from the area. It sounds trivial, but cultural events attracting a mixed audience are very rare in these parts. There was a powerful feeling in the hall of shared joy and pride at what we had succeeded in achieving, at what is possible.
Thanks are due to many, who made this success possible:
- The community of circus kids and their families
- The circus staff, Dagan Dishbek, Ahmed Sanallah, Bar Gissin
- The guest artists Gilad Finkel and Smach Basul, Irit Rohatyn and Yariv Solomon, Ma'ayan Bar Nur, Gilad Shabtai, Sharon Yul, and The Big Band ensemble.
- Bilha Ketter, who volunteered to produce the evening.
- Board members Sue Reiss, who chaired the event, and Arik Raz who spoke on the evening.
- Staff members Aliza Haviv, Sigalit Ur, and Hedva Livnat, who handled all the technical details.
- The friends and colleagues who sent their good wishes and supported the tribute site.
- The 700 members of the audience.
I have been looking forward to retirement, and I am really convinced that the Foundation is in good hands under the leadership of Nir. I will continue to help out as needed. But this evening provided a very satisfying experience of celebration, closure, and transition - and of optimism: If we could do this, just think of what the potential is...
For the eleventh year, we recently produced a two-day field seminar at Yodfat and Zippori for the 250 seventh graders at our local Misgav regional school. We have, over the years, become experts at creative programming, for a range of populations, based on the comparison of these two nearby archaeological sites:
Zippori: a city whose inhabitants surrendered to the Romans in the Great Revolt and which became an important center of Jewish life and the seat of the Sanhedrin after the Bar Kochba revolt. According to tradition, Rabbi Judah Hanasi initiated the codification of the Oral Law into the Mishnah there around 200 CE.
Yodfat: a small village which was fortified under the leadership of Joseph ben Mattitiahu, and stood against the Romans in the first major battle of the Great Revolt. It was there that Joseph surrendered and became Josephus Flavius. He tells us that the surviving defenders entered into a suicide pact like the one described at Metsada six years later.
The political and spiritual dilemmas posed by these two cities' responses to the encounter with Western culture are timeless, and the chance to experience the sites through interactive programming and simulations provides powerful educational opportunities. We never get bored with these programs, nor, it seems, do the participants and their teachers.
That time of year...
We are very grateful for the wonderful outpouring of support we received in the context of the tribute site for the circus benefit evening honoring Rabbi Rosenstein. Thank you!!
Meanwhile, our programming continues to require philanthropic support even as we expand our marketing of educational tourism programs that generate income. If you are looking for a worthy recipient for end-of-2013 philanthropic donations, we are pleased to nominate ourselves. We believe we have become an important force for implementing a humane, pluralistic vision of the Jewish state, and we invite anyone who shares that vision to become a partner in this endeavor.
To make a US tax-deductible contribution, click here.