This year’s Yom HaAtzmaut marked the 70th anniversary of the State of Israel. In celebration of this milestone, Mizrachi – Religious Zionists of America (RZA) and World Mizrachi (WM) launched “Seventy for 70,” a program which brought over 70 acclaimed speakers from Israel to over 70 synagogues on the Shabbat prior to Yom HaAtzmaut. That Sunday, an additional 15 events, including a Yom Iyun organized by Mizrachi – Religious Zionists of Chicago (RZC) and held at the RZC Center is Skokie, brought together the various speakers for broader community events.
In reflecting on the weekend’s programs in Chicago, Rabbi Jerold Isenberg, RZC Executive Director commented, “the Seventy for 70 program was incredible; four captivating speakers in Chicago-area synagogues. The attendees at the Sunday morning Yom Iyun, representing a spectrum of our community, experienced concentrated, inspiring talks covering the aspects of “Am Yisrael, B’Eretz Yisrael, Al Pi Torat Yisrael” (the People of Israel in the Land of Israel living by the Torah of Israel); an amazing conclusion to a most successful weekend of Jewish learning.” (Yom Iyun videos are at rzc.us)
Seventy for 70 was likely the largest coordinated Israel program in U.S. synagogue history. In recognition of its significance, the speakers gathered at Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, before their departure for the United States, where they were formally thanked for serving as Israel’s ambassadors at this important time in Israel’s history.
Dr. Ernie Agatstein, a member of the RZA Presidium from Los Angeles, stated: “The 70th anniversary of the State of Israel is a monumental achievement in the history of the Jewish people. If you take into account all the congregants who attended davening this Shabbos and were exposed to the 70 speakers, thousands of families from over 20 U.S. states were inspired, uplifted and connected to Torah from the State of Israel in celebration of this historic milestone.”
Rabbi Reuven Taragin, who serves as the Director of Seventy for 70, reflected, “Directing the Seventy for 70 program has been an exciting and meaningful experience. It has helped synagogues in the United States connect with each other while connecting with Israel.”
“Seventy for 70” concluded with a national RZA Yom HaAtzmaut program as Yom HaAtzmaut celebrations officially began on Wednesday, April 18. This event held at the Young Israel of Woodmere in New York featured Senator Joseph Lieberman. Reflecting on Senator Lieberman’s presentation as a culmination of these many events, Mr. Martin Oliner, a member of the RZA Presidium from New York, remarked, “Senator Lieberman, like the many other thousands who participated in these nation-wide events, is an American and a staunch Zionist. Who better than an observant, former United States Senator to summarize what being a strong Zionist living in America means and obligates us to do.”
Rabbi David Israel, newly appointed Executive Vice President of the RZA, commented, “As Israel matures, and we admire the many and varied successes of the State, we must seize this opportunity to remind ourselves that her very existence is a miracle; we must utilize this moment to catalyze our commitment to Zionism. Seventy for 70 will serve as a springboard for several new and impactful programs being launched by the RZA.”
For more information on the program, please see www.mizrachi.org/70for70 and contact Rabbi Reuven Taragin (firstname.lastname@example.org/+972584702471) or Rabbi David Israel (email@example.com/(203) 321-6259). For information about Mizrachi Chicago programs, visit rzc.us or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org ; 847-674-9733×2.