Home > Blog > Israel > A Letter from Anat Hoffman
Tuesday, May 2nd is Israel’s 69th Independence Day. I invite you to join me in celebrating the existence of the only Jewish state on the planet. Why? Because only in Israel can we input our Jewish values into the national GPS and let those values help navigate us to our destination.
There is profound happiness that comes with independence and having the freedom to create your own landscape. If you do not like the immediate results, you are able to improve them. I have spent decades going to work every day trying to improve things in Israel that are not living up to the best of our shared Jewish values.
Just like in the United States and elsewhere, we too sometimes fall short of our ideals. Often we can’t even agree what Jewish values are to begin with. However, our struggle fighting for gender equality, religious pluralism, and tolerance is my expression of those values.
On our Independence Day, I take a moment with others to applaud some of the greatest achievements of the Jewish people: creating a sovereign Jewish state in our ancient homeland, reviving the Hebrew language, building a democracy in an unfriendly neighborhood, and becoming a haven for Jews from all over the Diaspora. Our first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, said, “The State of Israel will not be judged by its riches, army, or advanced technology, but rather by its moral image and human values.”
There is still a lot of work to be done on improving our moral image and human values, but that is why I am so proud of IRAC’s work. We are pushing forward every day, and we need you with us.
I invite you today to sign up for our short weekly newsletter. It is the place where we update our supporters around the world about our work and give them the tools to participate from abroad. Zionism is not a spectator sport. Please try it. Being an activist is not easy, but I have found almost nothing to be as rewarding.
Remember, you can’t wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time.
Anat Hoffman is the Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) and the Chairperson of Women of the Wall. IRAC is the legal and advocacy arm of the Reform Movement in Israel and is the leading organization fighting for equality among for streams of Judaism in Israel.
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