From the President September 26 2019

Everyone has a personal Jerusalem. This message is personal. This is about my personal Jerusalem.

Every Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur we joyously chant “L’shana haba’ah b’Yerushalayim” – Next Year in Jerusalem. This hope must have been a powerful pull to Jews living in the diaspora prior to 1948. I was born in 1956 and thanks to heroes like my father (who fought in the Israeli War of Independence), all I need to do to be in Jerusalem next year is to buy a ticket. While I often imagine what it would be like to experience such a holy day in such a sacred place, what I would really like is to spend time with all my children together. That is more difficult to arrange than a flight on to Tel Aviv.

This is not to diminish the ancient wish – and maybe my wish is selfish. After all, prior to the establishment of the modern state of Israel the entire Jewish community was denied their dearest wish. The chant ‘Next Year in Jerusalem’ was for the whole people.

Now that we have access to Jerusalem, these are my wishes for Am Yisrael: I wish an end to the hatred and violence that still plagues us. I wish for peace in the lands – there and here. I wish for Tikkun Olum, the repair of the world. I wish that everyone who wants to be in Jerusalem next year can be. And I wish to spend important days with my family.

Everyone has a personal Jerusalem. On the cusp of the New Year, I wish everyone Next Year in Your Own Personal Jerusalem.

We are what we do.


Neil Zarchin