JNF UK and KKL celebrated Yom Ha’atzmaut on Tuesday 2nd May at the Western Marble Arch Synagogue.
The lunch featured the KramerDurcan piano and violin duo, playing a variety of Jewish songs. The audience joined in with all-time favourite Israeli tunes including Halleluja and Yerushalayim Shel Zahav.
Over 50 guests enjoyed a wonderful atmosphere of unity and togetherness and also the opportunity to hear about JNF UK’s projects, helping Israelis, particularly in the Negev region where the charity concentrates most of its current efforts. Current JNF UK supporters and KKL legacy clients were able to hear about the important work their generosity facilitates, and learned how it is helping the future of Israel.
Speeches were made by Carolyn Addleman, Director of Legacies and David Goodman, Director of Community Relations focusing on the progress of Israel since its rebirth 69 years ago and its military challenges in the past. David spoke fascinatingly of his 10 years in the IDF, giving a first-hand account of some key moments in Israel’s history.
Carolyn Addleman said: “Britain’s relationship with Israel began 100 years ago with the Balfour Declaration. Theresa May recently reaffirmed her commitment to standing up for Israel by saying that Britain should proud of the Balfour Declaration. Bilateral trade between Britain and Israel is worth a staggering £3 billion.”
David Goodman spoke movingly of his own service in the IDF, pointing out “pictures of two young men who gave their lives for the State of Israel…The young men died in 2006… Still today there are things that they and others have done that cannot be shared.” He also said: “today we are living through a dynamic period of Jewish History… Only last week all 100 senators signed a letter to the United Nations saying ‘stop bashing Israel’… Israel holds first place in the field of medical services and in culture and technology it is number one in the world.” Speaking of the JNF UK’s current work in the Negev he explained “in 2005 a 25 year strategy was implemented to improve the Negev region; we now have more than 35 projects currently in the Negev. This is where it is happening.”