A summer trip as a teenager began a lifelong connection to Israel and her people. I had the opportunity to strengthen my Hebrew language skills, shape my Jewish identity, and forge strong connections with family that have grown and deepened over the years.
I’m now a proud mother of a daughter who is a newly minted immigrant to Israel. Attending the March for Israel rally on Nov. 14 was a deeply personal experience for me and to express my commitment, both personally and professionally, to stand in solidarity with the people of Israel during these challenging times.
I felt strongly that I needed to be there, that there was nothing more important for me to do that day than my part to stand up and be counted in support of Israel. While en route, a friend in D.C. texted me and reported that “people are flooding in toward the Capitol!” which energized me and some of the others on the bus.
A young mom brought her three children, all decked out in shirts that openly declare their bond with Israel. Finally arriving at the National Mall, I was thrilled to see signs from communities around the U.S.A., and the solidarity among people of all ages who share this love and commitment.
It’s terribly depressing to read about the massacre, the injured and the displaced and feel helpless. In my role as a representative of the Yad Sarah organization in the U.S.A., Oct. 7 had given me a mandate to help those in Israel facing urgent needs.
Donors supporting Yad Sarah ensured that volunteers on the ground had the necessary resources to aid others. It’s a great partnership. Since people know Yad Sarah as an organization that relies on volunteers, we have fielded several inquiries from people who want to go to Israel and are willing to do anything. On a personal level, I’ve been so encouraged by the outpouring of support and advocacy; this was a concrete step toward making a real difference.
The remarks from the families of the hostages were deeply affecting and the pain was palpable. I think about these hostages every day. I hope that my presence among thousands of others – and our advocacy – was a virtual hug for these families who are profoundly hurting. The desire to do more was overwhelming, but in that moment, being present, advocating, and standing united with thousands of others was a testament to the unwavering commitment to Israel and its people.Goldberg lives in North Woodmere.