Local | News

We stand with Israel — A gathering in support of Israel’s right to protect itself

The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and Congregation Anshei Israel will cosponsor an event in participation with local rabbis, open to the entire Tucson community on Thursday, Aug. 7 at 7 p.m. at Congregation Anshei Israel, located at 5550 E. 5th St. Organizers welcome people of all ages, backgrounds and religions to attend and share their support of Israel’s right to defend its democracy.

Anshei Israel’s Rabbi Robert Eisen was in Israel in June when three teenage boys were kidnapped and later found murdered. “People were sad, actually numb is a better word,” he says.  “At times such as that, there are no degrees of separation between Israelis. Everyone does seem to have some sort of direct relationship with everyone else anyway and the mourning that went deep into the soul of the entire country. It was not just those boys… those families… who had been attacked; it was the nation as a whole.” Eisen is involved in planning this solidarity gathering: We Stand with Israel, along with Oshrat Barel, community shlicha (emissary) and director of JFSA’s Weintraub Israel Center.

Barel is from Beit She’an, Israel, and has spent the past year in Tucson. The center’s goal is to  broaden Tucsonans’ knowledge of Israel through cultural events and lectures, as well as partnering with Jewish agencies and synagogues.

Another goal is to foster an open dialogue with supporters of Israel and build relationships with those who might have questions about the Jewish State and current events.

“Sometimes we can’t estimate the affect of a small gesture locally on the people of Israel who seem so far away,” says Barel. “But right now, when more names of fallen soldiers are published every day, and the people of Israel mourn each of them as they were their own sons, we need to stand with Israel and show our support.” She hopes that the evening will further strengthen the Tucson community’s support of Israel.

For more information, contact the Weintraub Israel Center at 577-9393 or israelcenter@jfsa.org, or call Congregation Anshei Israel at 745-5550.