Temple Israel of Riverhead
490 Northville Turnpike P.O. Box 1531 Riverhead, NY 11901 631-727-3191 TempleIsraelRH@optonline.net
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Temple Israel of Riverhead Celebration of Israel Independence Day on April 27, 2023 On Thursday, April 27, at 6:30 PM, Temple Israel of Riverhead proudly hosted a delegation of wounded Israel Defense Force (IDF) soldiers in honor of Yom HaAtzmaut 75, Israeli Independence Day. Our social hall was decorated with beautiful Israeli-themed balloons and Israeli flags. The snack buffet included Israeli dishes such as bourekas, Moroccan cigars, falafel, hummus, and more. The room was crowded with guests from various communities on the North and the South Forks. TIR’s Vice President Barbara Smith welcomed the guests. Then TIR’s Secretary, Linda Prizer introduced Jennifer Hines, a congregant and opera singer, who sang Yerushalayim Shel Zahav , and invited us to join in the chorus with her. It was an amazing performance. Then Linda introduced the Israeli delegation leader, Rabbi Amos Cohen from Hod HaSharon, Israel. He explained that for the last 10 years a nonprofit, self-funded organization, Together For Them, has been traveling to the United States and visiting synagogues and schools around the country to tell the true story of life in Israel from the hearts of wounded IDF soldiers. Three wounded soldiers shared their unbelievable personal stories, which moved and touched everyone in the room. They concluded that no matter how injured they were, they still volunteered to continue serving IDF because of their love for their families and friends, and their responsibility to the Jewish people in the diaspora to always have a homeland to come to). They expressed that Eretz Yisroel belongs to and is a home to all Jews everywhere, and that no matter how different the political views are, we are all united and solid together. This memorable evening and celebration moved everyone in the room, sometimes to tears and sometimes to much laughter. These 4 men were one of us, and with us. They easily mingled and chatted with all guests afterward. We were also joined by Lirin Shay Goshen, Director of the Randie Waldbaum Malinsky Center for Israel, and Senior Shlicha (emissary) of the Sochnut Jewish Agency for Israel. She added her own interesting perspective to the conversation. Much wonderful feedback has been received. Many found it amazing, informative, and just emotional and uplifting. The evening ended with guests carrying the handheld Israeli flags that had adorned the tables. What a strong statement and a beautiful scene to see! This celebration was possible and funded by the kind generosity of: Nick Victory, Dr. George, Helene, and Jennifer Hines, Nan & John Peel, Aviva Wieder & Michael Tuchner, Linda Prizer & Michael Tockman, Dr. Richard & Lorraine Richter, Jaime Siegel, Barbara & Jim Smith, Rebecca & Mitch Hagler, and Ladan Shalom & Billy Murray. View photos from this event.