December 10, 2018 | in Winter 2018-19

A message from Stephen Savitsky, President

While I realize that you will be reading this message in December, know that it is October 30th as I write it. Today was the first day of the funerals for the 11 victims of the terrible anti-Semitic attack in the city of Pittsburgh. This attack has shaken us to the core and made us realize once again that anti-Semitism is unfortunately still a part of our society.
It is very difficult to understand anti-Semitism, as it has no real reason for its existence. It is not tied to any factor in human life except for pure and unreasoning hatred for Jews. In 1654, Asher Levy and 24 Jews arrived here to seek religious freedom. Since then, this country has been so good to us, and has allowed us the freedom to worship, to study, and to enter society on an equal footing with everyone else. This has translated into a powerful, vibrant, successful Jewish community. We have contributed so much to America with our charitable works, our social contributions, our values of education and family life, and economic prosperity.

Today, America is a better country because of the Jewish immigrants who came by the millions to this country’s golden shores, gaining an opportunity we have not had since the destruction of the Second Temple.

To a very large extent Israel, the national Jewish homeland, was possible due to the vibrancy of the American Jewish community and President Harry Truman’s fortitude in declaring Israel a state in spite of the objections of many of his advisors.

The American Jewish community and Israel have forged a unique relationship. Today, people are questioning this relationship and its long-term viability. I believe that Bnai Zion and what we stand for is exactly the right formula for success as we try to solidify the relationship between Diaspora Jews and Israel.

Bnai Zion is an organization that is non-political and nonjudgmental. We welcome all those who love Israel, its people, and what it stands for. That is why we are supported not only by the Jewish community, but also very strongly by our very good friends in the Evangelical community throughout North America. We represent the ideal relationship between Israel and the Diaspora. We represent kindness, concern, and caring for those who are less fortunate than us. This is the model that should be the standard as we move forward in the future, both in Israel and in the Diaspora.

We must find ways of healing the rifts, we must find ways of coming together, and we must also agree, sometimes, to disagree. Disagreeing doesn’t mean that we have any less love, respect, affection, or caring for each other. We are individuals who have our own opinions. We are educated and we are proud, but we are also allowed to think for ourselves.

I am positive that in the future, the people of Israel will continue to have the relationship with the Bnai Zion Foundation that they have had over the 70 years since the state was established. We will continue to support them, we will continue to nourish them, we will continue to be nourished by them, and our strong relationship will continue to grow stronger every single day. We welcome all those who agree with our philosophy both in the Jewish and non-Jewish world to join us; become members, become involved, and become active, so that this relationship will continue for many, many years to come.