From the Desk of the Federation Executive Director: With Gratitude 4/21/23

By Shelley Hubal

What brings people together? Here is a short list: food, laughter, prayer, music, beauty and love for children.

Next week marks Israel’s 75th birthday and, like many Jewish communities, we are planning a celebration here in Broome County. I must admit that I have a degree of anxiety about this event. Israel’s current political leadership is making choices that could lead the country to a civil war. Should we even have a celebration? Instead, should we pray? Protest? Should Jews in the Diaspora even have a say? 

There are no easy answers. In fact, there might be more reasons to disagree than to come together. However, Yom Ha’atzmaut is a day to acknowledge the fact that Israel still exists, despite all the turmoil and bloodshed. A country that was founded by persecuted Jewish people has lasted 75 years. 

Whatever Israel means to you, I hope you will consider joining us on April 23. You can register by going to; there is no charge to attend. There will be kosher cake, singing, dancing, a virtual live tour of Jerusalem and prayers for peace. It will be a day to focus on what brings us together, rather than what tears us apart. Don’t we all need that?