We are five passionate, dedicated people who organise activities during the year to present the necessity of Israel for Jews worldwide. We hold about four meetings annually and would love to hear from members with strong feelings for Israel.
The highlight of each year is our Yom Ha’atzmaut – Israel Independence Day Celebrations. In the past we have had the Oranim Dancers, Shir, The Jewish Male Choir and our own EDRS Choir entertaining us.
This year’s celebrations commenced with delicious Israeli style Falafel, pita and salad. We then moved from the hall to the Shul for a short service for Yom Hazikaron, in remembrance of Israeli fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism. Rabbi Smith led the service which was accompanied by cantor Robert Brody from the Zemel choir. We were treated to a display of Israeli dancing, performed by the EDRS Israeli dance group.
The highlight of the evening was the performance by the Zemel Choir, who sang a variety of Israeli music both old and new. The audience, who were a hundred strong joined in with the favourites such as Hava Nagila, Halleluyah and Yerushalayim Shel Zahav.
A reporter from Jewish Care on behalf of Spectrum Radio came to interview a few people about the event and the programme was broadcast on Spectrum Radio the following Sunday.
Past speakers have included:
- Mohammed Fahili a man who has dedicated most of his adult life to Arab-Jewish coexistence, helping children from poor families. He spoke in conjunction with Laurence Kaye past chair of EDRS’ Israel Committee and now chair of the UK Friends of the Abraham Fund Initiatives. Both speakers were very passionate and a lively question and answer followed their presentations.
- His Excellency Ron Prosor the recent Ambassador of Israel to the Court of St James’s was interviewed by Jenni Frazer, assistant editor of the Jewish Chronicle.
- Ishmael Khaldi (newly appointed counsellor at the Israeli Embassy in London) related his life story about growing up as a Bedouin shepherd. He became an educated world traveller and now helps his people make the transition from a traditional nomadic society to a contemporary Israeli society. A truly remarkable and inspiring evening
- Rabbi Nava Hefetz was ordained as a rabbi in 2006 after a distinguished career in educational and cultural activities. She spoke on a wide range of issues which confront Israel in its attempt to be a Jewish and democratic state while endeavouring to fulfil the high ideals expressed in its declaration of Independence.
- Paul Usiskin a moderate Zionist. Harvey Rose. Chairman of the ZF. Jon Benjamin the Chief Executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews since 2005 and Zalmi Unsdorfer chairman of Likud- Herut UK, all took part in a very lively and controversial panel discussion “Is it OK to be Jewish and criticise Israel?”
We have shown a number of Israeli films:
- Beaufort - a 12th century Crusader stronghold in southern Lebanon, just prior to Israel's withdrawal from that country in 2000 and Israel's sudden departure from Beaufort and Lebanon after 18 years of occupation
Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi - a warm and witty family comedy about Shlomi, a 16 year-old who tries to play the role of peacekeeper in his chaotic family.
The Three Mothers – Shalosh Ima’ot - This Israeli film chronicles the intertwined lives of triplets Rose, Yasmin and Flora, who were born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1942 and blessed and welcomed into this world by none other than King Farouk himself.
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