Counting Our Blessings As We Enter 5782
by Ambassador Meron Reuben, Israel Consul General to New England
Summer was exceptionally wet this year in New England. As an Israeli, I enjoyed the rain and soaked up the magnificentgreenery that it left behind. September is now upon us with Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and other fall festivals coming early this year.
While this summer has shown numerous challenges for the state of Israel, from political conflict to Ben & Jerry’s boy-cott, there are many positive developments to celebrate as the year draws to a close.
A year ago we were living under the cloud of a global pan-demic that constricted every aspect of our lives and caused the death of millions across the globe. Israel has been a leader in vaccinating its population and we are now in a drive to give booster shots to the population over 60.
Limiting travel to Israel has been a necessary means of con-trolling the spread of the virus. We know how frustrating this has been for so many of you, but it is my sincere hope that travel to Israel will soon get back to normal even though the spike in the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus makes this difficult to predict.
The Abraham Accords continue to spread a message of hope and mutual understanding in our region. It was a thrill this summer to welcome “Sharaka,” a new NGO comprised of young Israeli and UAE social leaders of all religions com-mitted to peace and normalization through forging warm people-to-people connections.
The “2020 Olympics” in Tokyo offered another reason to rejoice. Israel sent its largest delegation ever, some 90 Olympians. Israeli Olympian Artem Dolgopyat made us all proud by winning a gold medal in gymnastics for the men's floor exercise. Avishag Samberg received a bronze medal in taekwondo.
But the most important thing of all for us was that for the first time, after ignoring the fact for 49 years, the Olympic committee publicly memorialized the Israeli athletes who were victims of terror in the Munich Olympics of 1972. May their memories be blessed.
All in all, we have a lot to be grateful for as we leave 5781 and go into 5782. I have had a very challenging yet exciting 9 months in New England and hope to meet many more members of the Jewish community in person (and not on zoom) this coming year.
May the new year bless us all with peace and good health. Shana Tova U’metuka a good and sweet New Year to everyone.
Israel Consul General to New England