December 2014 — Kislev-Tevet 5775,  Volume 20, Issue 11

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Rabbi Gordis Reveals Surprising Facts about Israeli-American Perceptions

 

Guest Speaker Rabbi Dr. Daniel Gordis talked about Israel at Westchester Day School’s (WDS) Open House on Saturday, November 8, attended by over 100 citizens from Mamaroneck and surrounding communities.

 

Noting that students study Hebrew but do not speak it, Gordis stated, “First talk about the dream and convey the nuances of Israel and its social, political and economic complexes.  Show them Israel’s arts, films and novels, such as Amos Oz’s Tale of Love and Darkness.”

 

Gordis reiterated the 1950 Ben Gurion-Blaustein Agreement between Premier David Ben Gurion and American Jewish Committee President Jacob Blaustein, “that Israel speaks only on behalf of its own citizens and in no way presumes to represent or speak in the name of  Jews who are citizens of any other country; that Jews of the United States as a community and individuals have no political attachment to Israel.”

 

Rabbi Gordis stressed that the Yom Kippur War of 1973 cost over 3,000 soldiers, but since then no standing Arab army has attacked Israel.  However, Gordis was pessimistic about any peace prospects, since it is no longer a conflict over territory but over religion.  “Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS and Muslim Brotherhood want to ‘redeem the land from the infidel.’”

 

Concluding the program, WDS Head of School Rabbi Joshua Lookstein enunciated the WDS theme, “Open Minds, Open Hearts and Open Arms.”

 

“Open Minds—a First Grader applying for Second Grade asked, ‘If G-d created the world, who created G-d?’ Open Hearts—developing children who can feel each other’s pain.  Their visits to a Senior Center are followed up, including diary writing. And Open Arms—our arms are open to the Town of Mamaroneck and State of Israel,” Lookstein concluded.