400 celebrate LA Federation’s centennial in Israel

It's important for us to come 12,000 kilometers to further strengthen Israel's bonds with 2nd largest US Jewish community, LA Federation's president says.

October 28, 2011 04:15
1 minute read.
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Jewish Federations Logo 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Over 400 members of the Jewish community of Los Angeles arrived this week on a tour of the country celebrating the Jewish Federation’s centennial.

Jay Sanderson, the president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, said it was important for the delegation to make the 12,000-kilometer journey to further strengthen Israel’s bonds with the second-largest Jewish community in the US.

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“Israel has always been and will always be one of our top priorities,” Sanderson said. “These days young Jews don’t always feel the same connection to Israel that my generation does, so one of the reasons we support Birthright is to get as many people to love Israel as we can.”

Earlier in the week delegates took part in a ceremony held at Tel Aviv University emceed by actor Haim Topol. They later visited the Western Wall and met with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. The visit will draw to a close next Monday at a gathering in Jerusalem attended by President Shimon Peres and Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Natan Sharansky.

The pioneering spirit of the first Jewish arrivals to Southern California, who helped found the local Jewish Federation in 1911, is reflected in Israel, Sanderson said.

“That’s why we support Ayalim,” he added, referring to the Ayalim Association that was founded in 2002 to strengthen the communities in the Negev and the Galilee. “Some of the most interesting things are taking place in the North and South of the country.”

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