Monday, November 10, 2008


Following the many successful events held at Middlesex New Synagogue to celebrate Israel's 60th Anniversary, and in order to celebrate further the 60 years of Israel’s past and look forward to Israel 60 years in the future, MNS was delighted to welcome a panel of distinguished guests to address over 100 visitors.

After a short prayer for Israel read by Rabbi Kathleen de Magtige-Middleton, Michael Reik opened the proceedings by introducing Talya Lador-Fresher, the Israeli Deputy Ambassador, Geoffrey Smith, chairman of the Christian Friends of Israel, and finally Charlie Gluckman and Daniel Needlestone, the co-chairs of Pro Zion, all of whom spoke about achievements of Israel from different perspectives.

Talya Lador-Fresher referred to the internal and external events that shaped Israel’s achievements decade by decade. From the War of Independence and through the 1950s, Israel saw the building of a nation and a wave of immigration. The 1960s was marked by the tension before, and the euphoria after, the Six Day Way, and the trial of Adolf Eichmann. The 1970s saw the Yom Kippur War and the historic visit to Israel by President Sadat of Egypt, which led to the Peace Accords at Camp David. The 1980 saw the economic crisis and the Government bailing out the banks (sounds familiar?). The 1990s brought Peace Accords with Jordan, and immigration from Russia. The current decade was marked by the Intafada, and the advances in high technology - from oranges to Apples perhaps ;-)

Geoffrey Smith gave a very inspiring talk on the theme “Israel has blessed the nations” describing how Israel has fulfilled various Biblical prophecies, and how the rest of the world has benefited from its high technological advances. Charlie Gluckman and Daniel Needlestone gave their personal views of the changes in Israel during their student years.

During a short break for refreshments, visitors were able to watch a video, read the posters and time-line display, and browse through the brochures brought along by the Christian Friends of Israel.

The evening continued with a Q&A session; topics included proportional representation, the likelihood of a non-Jewish Prime Minister, the consequences of an increasing Arab population, and the Barak Obama effect. The meeting closed with a vote of thanks to the panel by Rabbi Simon Franses.

This was an ideal opportunity for Middlesex New Synagogue members to learn of Israel's past achievements and future plans and strengthen even further our commitment to “Eretz Yisrael”. The evening was supported and sponsored by the Zionist Federation.