We decided to go ahead despite the weather forecasts. But were quite prepared that only the members of the committee itself would turn up, despite the fact that some 40 people had in fact confirmed that they would be coming.
I left Jerusalem as thick snow was falling, happy to be leaving it behind but a bit frightened that if the snow indeed settled I might be stuck out of town. In the past there have been occasions when the roads have become jammed up with abandoned vehicles whose driver could not cope with the conditions.
So what the heck, I could always stay in Tel Aviv the night.
The whole of this country goes wild at the thought of snow on the ground and half the country gets ready to go up to Jerusalem to see it, Personally I have had enough of the cold and wet and I always say, somewhat tongue in cheek, that the main reason for coming to Israel for me, was to get away from the wet of England.
The nightmare of a tour guide in the passed was going in the mosques on Har Habayit (Temple Mt) and having to remove our shoes, only to find on the return that in order to get to the shoes again one has to walk through puddles. But here I am digressing now.
On the other hand I was somewhat disappointed at having left Jerusalem and the snow if it did settle on the ground because I might be missing some good photo opportunities.
(This photograph was taken by me but not this year
I left Jerusalem about 9:00 and the roads were packed as usual. Half way to Tzora, Haim Avni
, a former teacher and madrich at the Machon, and today in charge of the archives of the Jewish Agency, phoned me to say that he wasn't feeling too well and that he wouldn't be coming. I wished him well and started worrying. Haim Avni was meant to be one of the speakers - if the speakers didn't arrive this did not portend well to the success of the day. On the way some chaverim phoned to tell me that they were already there and asked were we were meeting. Good I won’t be alone!
We ended up by being about 35 people from 18 machzorim – from the very first (Aleph) to the youngest (Nun-Bet—32) No youngsters but I didn’t really expect any, it being a week day.
opened the session by welcoming everyone, made mention of the weather (while it was hailing outside!), and gave a long list of credits to people both present and absent. He invited the participants to inform their chaverim of the memorial service for David Brodsky
to be held on 30th
March at Kiriyat Moriah (and here I am reminding you lot, please do come – I don’t want to be the only representative of our machzor yet again.) I think that we all remember David Brodsky with affection and for his memory and for his wife Ada’s sake please - do join me. 11:30,, don’t forget. Contact me if you want to come. Let me know if anybody wants to say a few words in memory, or if anybody wishes to write to me to that effect I could read out your message.
I appealed to chaverim to contact me with updated lists of their machzorim. So many emails and letters are returned undelivered and it is my job to try to keep things up to date. (Not every machzor is as efficient as Kaf-Hey.) That was one of the main purposes of this meeting and that is why we invited just a couple of representatives from each machzor, although anybody could have come of course.
I also forwarded the proposal that we have a yearly “happening” of a cultural nature inviting bogrei machon, both professional and amateur, from Israel and abroad to perform or to present their talents. There was some positive reactions to this. I shall try to pursue this line and shall contact Menachem Winegrad
, a former chanich and also a boger machon, who produces something called Jacob’s Ladder Festival twice a year at Kibbutz Ginossar. Anybody with other suggestions or ideas please let me know
, another boger machon (from S. Africa) and former teacher and madrich at the Machon gave a powerful talk on Zionism today. What Zionism was at its outset but more about “post Zionism” what it is for us and the world today. It wasn’t boring and a pity that you weren’t there to hear it. A lively debate followed, bring in those subjects that always are associated for us today – religion and the Palestinian problem Chaverim wanted to continue the discussion after lunch but Gidi had to be at the airport, he was going to give the same talk in NY that same evening!
After lunch, Dr Ran Kahan
gave us an extremely interesting view of the kibbutz today. The problems of privatization, the poor kibbutz, the “kibbutz” in the eyes of the Israel population today. A discussion followed that could have continued on for a week. Another speaker was Shlomo Bar Gil a researcher for Yad Vashem and Yad Tabenkin (the seminar of one of the kibbutz movements) One of the speakers (Avraham Shomroni
) who added his thoughts on the subject knows you, Hillel (and remembers your father well) and sent his regards. He remembered the very first shaliach to Dror, England following the pilug
(split) in the 1950’s, so we had a little reminiscing as well..
The journey home to Jerusalem was in the rain, but for a few brief moments the sun did come out and there in front of me as I drove was a beautiful rainbow....