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Home Away From Home: A Visit to Our Friends and Partners on the West Coast

Between the 14th and 26th of February, Zohar Avigdori and Roei Tau visited the West Coast of the US, where they spent time with friends and partners of the Akko Educators’ Kibbutz from the Jewish communities of the East Bay, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orange County and Seattle. Roei and Zohar set out with the goal of bringing the campaign to purchase a permanent building for the Akko Educators’ Kibbutz closer to the end zone. The project is now funded 95% to completion with less than 250 thousand dollars left to go!

“Like every time we venture overseas to tell our story, we started planning a month and a half in advance. Endless emails, phone calls, meetings and nonstop brainstorming to think of what and how to tell friends, old and new, about the amazing work being done by the Educators’ Kibbutz, about Dror Israel, and about Israeli society,” said Roei. “Once again we arrived in America at a time when Israeli society was in turmoil, this time because of the dramatic upcoming elections for the 21st Knesset. Not least of which, the controversial announcement of a union between several right wing parties, including Jewish Power – a political party affiliated with Kahanism that promotes the racist and extremist ideology of the legacy of Meir Kahane.”

Trips like the one taken by Roei and Zohar present a fantastic opportunity for educators from Dror Israel to meet with a wide range of men and women for whom Israel is very close to their hearts. Our delegates travel overseas with the chief desire of meeting Jewish communities, and hearing about their hardships, their challenges and their successes. Often they hear about the difficulty that exists today in communicating about Israel.

“On these trips I understand again and again how polarized and thorny the discourse around Israel has become, and at the same time the immense desire so many people feel to build bridges between their communities and Israel, to maintain a thriving connection. I hope we managed to be a part of that bridge for some of the people we met with on this journey,” Roei said. “I am so proud to be able to go to America representing Dror Israel and the educators’ kibbutzim.”

“I would like to thank all of the people, organizations and synagogues who made time to meet with us and to all of the incredible families who opened their hearts and homes for us and made us welcome throughout our journey. Without a doubt, you gave us a firm feeling of being at “home away from home” added Zohar.

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