So, here I was, watching Exodus once again, and then off to the JAFI Board of Governors meetings...to...the reality of today. Not the best segue, I know. On the cusp of my travels to Tel Aviv through Frankfurt, Lufthansa's pilots announced a strike for the week of the meetings. Frenzied hours are spent rebooking (this followed the frenzied hours spent rebooking that followed the peremptory refusal of the Russian government to allow JAFI to hold its meetings there). Not fun.
But those meetings (and the activities surrounding them) began to focus the Jewish Agency once again on its past and its future. The new Chair of the Executive, Natan Sharansky, has articulated a new path of relevancy to Jewish Unity, Jewish Education and Jewish Peoplehood while holding the Agency to its historic principles. (John Ruskay articulated the Agency's directions and focuses perfectly in his comments in The Fundermentalist's excellent report on the JAFI meetings. See: blogs.jta.org/philanthropy) New directions, new relevance, new and exciting leadership melded with the seasoned leadership whose sense of history and organization have not been lost but encouraged. Exciting times.
In all of our work -- in federation, with our partners, "continentally" and in Israel and overseas -- those who remember that we build on the future not only on new ideas but on a glorious history from which so much can be learned are those who, in the end, will succeed beyond their dreams...and ours.