Connecting our community to the people, history, culture, and land of Israel remains a core value of the JCCGW. From lectures and dance to film, music, and art, the Center offers exciting, innovative ways to learn about Israel—past, present, and future.
Programs include the Center’s annual free Israel Fest, Israel-centric holiday celebrations and commemorative events, our Shlichut program, when a young Israeli comes to our Center as an Israel Emissary for the year, free lunch & learns, and much more.
The Hebrew Month of Tishrei – A month of High Holidays
by Danielle Flicker, Israeli Shlicha (liason) for JCCGW
The month of Tishrei is the most beautiful time in Israel.
It is the time of new beginnings when the Israelis prepare themselves for the New Year to come.
The Israeli annual calendar which is filled with holidays, ceremonies, struggles and peace.
Rosh Hashanah leads us to Yom Kippur and to the holiday of Sukkot. You can find the spirit of new beginnings as well as self-reflection and a sense of community between long lines in the supermarkets, heavy traffic all over Israel, visits to special markets which sell ‘Shana Tova’ (New Year) cards, Sukkah decorations and etrogs (yellow citron or Citrus used during the week-long holiday of Sukkot).
During my Israeli Defenses Forces service (IDF) I served as part of the education team.
My responsibilities were to educate the IDF soldiers, lead weekly tours of various important sites and help expand their knowledge of Israel and the world by teaching the soldiers through Jerusalem’s rich history and social diversity. One of the tours I was leading was a ‘Slichut tour’ – a traditional nightly tour in the month of Elul where you ask for forgiveness over the past year’s sins.
Every night I led a group of soldiers through the narrow alleys of the old city which I visited daily. But in those nights, during the month of Elul, the houses looked different, the people were not the same and the wind just felt lighter.
One of the sites we visited was the tomb of King David located on Mount Zion.
This site is a holy center for the all three monotheistic religions including the “Last Supper Room” for the Christians believers, an ancient Mosque for Moslems, and by the traditional Jewish belief, the tomb of King David.
This site provides a great vista on the city, but between the years of 1948-1967 it was much more than that. At that time, Jerusalem was divided and the holy sites for the Jewish people were actually located in Jordan. That place was the closest point to the western wall and people risked their lives just for an opportunity to see a small part of that wall. The King David tomb site became so important at the time that the president of Israel got his own office at the location. It was the people who sanctified the location by respecting its historical significance.
I think that this fact really demonstrates the essence of the upcoming holidays. To me holiness is not just found in rituals or at the holy places, the holiness is us, Am (nation) Y’Israel (of Israel). Our ability to respect traditions, to keep a strong community and to create a bond between the Jewish people all over the world, brought us to be united in the land of our ancestors after 2000 years of exile.
What motivated me to come here is the incredible story of the Jewish community and I hope that my time here would allow me to be a small part at the long chain of Jewish togetherness.
For more information about Israel at the Center, please contact Danielle Flicker, Israeli Shlicha (liason), at 301-348-3863 or email@example.com.
- Israel Fest: Sunday, June 5, 2016
Biblical Archaeology Forum
2015-2016 Schedule and Subscription Information
Now in its third decade, BAF presents a series of scholarly lectures on the latest archaeological research findings and related fields such as history, art and texts of ancient times. Reservations are not required. Fees per lecture are: $5 – Residents of CES Life Communities, high school students and co-sponsors; $8 – BASONOVA & JCCGW members, and; $10 – the general public. For more information, please contact BAF.JCCGW@gmail.com.
Interested in learning more about Israel programs at the JCCGW? Contact us!