I've always found it interesting that many people believe that there's one reason that Jews should support the Jewish state. However,if you put all of those people in the same room their reasons might overlap, but are never identical. Each person has his or her own experience with Israel and weaves it together with a part of the Jewish collective memory. This led me to a broad inquiry on the so-called Jewish connection to Israel, which has impacted the materials I've produced and the conversations I continue to have. Last year, while writing People, Place & Self: The Jewish Connection to Israel, our curriculum that explores the multiple connections Jews have had with Israel throughout time, I wanted to provide students with varied viewpoints on the so-called Jewish connection to Israel. The curriculum profiles many Jews, with differing outlooks, and their personal connections with Israel. The one flaw: the majority of personalities profiled are old dead guys (and a gal), and each one is famous for one reason or another. It got me thinking. Why shouldn't the average person's beliefs be public? Wouldn't they inspire the average Jewish teenager or college student as much as - if not more than - someone from history? Our context today is very different than the context in which people like Theodor Herzl and Yehuda HaLevi lived. From those questions came our Personal Narratives initiative, in which we want to collect as many stories as possible to share with college students, high school students, educators, and the general public. We've begun to do so and have learned that even among The David Project's staff, our reasons for loving Israel are varied.
I'll close by asking you the following question: What's your story and why do you connect with Israel?
Check out the full collection of Personal Narratives (updated regularly) and share your story with us! Just click here to access the pdf download and the form.