(Courtesy of RZA) Religious Zionists of America-Mizrachi is once again bringing an unprecedented number of Israeli scholars, roshei yeshiva, educators and thought leaders to the United States in celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut. Over 85 top Israeli speakers will serve as scholars-in-residence on Shabbat, May 4 (the Shabbat prior to Yom Ha’atzmaut), in synagogues throughout North America. “What better way to mark the significance of the establishment of the Jewish state than to enable our communities to connect with Torah emanating from the land of Israel,” said Rabbi David A. Israel, executive vice president of RZA-Mizrachi.
Rabbi Reuven Taragin, educational director of RZA-Mizrachi and World Mizrachi, said, “Baruch Hashem this year’s program has exceeded the reach of last year’s ‘Seventy for 70’ both in the US and beyond. We have planned 100 programs in the US as part of over 360 programs of the aptly named ‘Israel360-Celebrating Israel Around the World’ program—Australia, Canada, England, Europe, South Africa, South America and Israel itself.”
“The response to last year’s program made it clear that the community is touched by this effort. There was no question that this was an important project that should continue,” said Martin Oliner of New York, an RZA- Mizrachi co-president. Dr. Ernest Agatstein, co-president from Los Angeles, remarked, “The five ISRAEL360 programs taking place in Los Angeles this year have created new synergies in our community. It is fantastic to share a sense of the power of Torat Eretz Yisrael throughout the community.”
Unique to ISRAEL360 is the linking of Religious Zionists across the United States, as evidenced by the publicity surrounding the event and the many posters in synagogue lobbies across the U.S. “How can one not be moved by seeing the breadth of scholarship and wisdom descending at one time on our communities in celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut?” remarked Rabbi Leonard Matanky, co-president from Chicago. Last year many people observed that one of the aspects of this program that moved them, besides the content itself, was the feeling that they and their peers were part of something greater than themselves.
To see a complete listing of participating ISRAEL360 synagogues and communities, please go to www.rza.org/ISRAEL360.