Mirit Sulema, Coordinator of the Akko Educators’ Kibbutz and Gilad Perry, Director of International Partnerships at Dror Israel, visited the UK in early July at the invitation of the United Jewish Israel Appeal (UJIA) – the UK’s largest Israel-focused Jewish charitable organization. Below, Mirit writes of her experience there.
We were invited by our partners in the UJIA to visit London to raise resources for the establishment of a permanent home for the Akko Educators’ Kibbutz.
During our two-week trip we visited synagogues, met with old friends, made new friends, and spoke with UJIA staff about Dror Israel and the importance of a permanent home for the Akko Educators’ Kibbutz.
At the Westminster Synagogue, we led a session to conclude the academic year for the bnai mitzvah class. We spoke with 20 very impressive 12-13 year olds about the power of dreams and community. We told them about Yerus Goes to Jerusalem, a book about a young girl from Ethiopia and the dream she shared with her entire community of making Aliyah to Israel. The Bnai Mitzvah class engaged with the story and the questions it raises. They inspired us with their insight and gave us confidence that the future of the Jewish people is in good hands.
At the New North London Synagogue we spoke about Akko and the challenges it faces as a mixed city. We were thrilled to hear that the synagogue is planning an Israel tour and plans to contribute to Dror Israel’s work in the Galilee.
We are especially grateful to our gracious hosts in London, Roger and Susan Walters, to Louise Jacobs, Michael Wegier, Ira Rapp and the incredible team at the UJIA, and of course to all the wonderful people we met along the way.
We look forward to continuing to strengthen the bonds between the Jewish community of the UK and the Akko Educators’ Kibbutz.