With the Passover holiday behind us, and Jews having celebrated our symbolic freedom, I wanted to present a special list of the top 10 guardians of the Jewish people who have helped guard and honor the Jewish nation in the past year. In no particular order:
1. The Israel Defense Forces: The Jewish army which defends the existence & sovereignty of the State of Israel.
2. Scarlett Johansson: The beautiful actress sent a clear message which was heard around the world by simply doing the right thing and being so clear in her decision to continue representing Israeli carbonated beverage company SodaStream, despite criticism. As Prime Minister Netanyahu said “Everyone should know what the letters B-D-S really stand for: bigotry, dishonesty, and shame. And those who oppose BDS, like Scarlett Johansson, they should be applauded.”
3. Educators: Those who work in Jewish education and help shape Jewish continuity. As assimilation and intermarriage continue to skyrocket, the educators who teach Judaism to our youth must be celebrated and embraced.
4. Benjamin Netanyahu: The Prime Minister of the State of Israel and has stood up against the Palestinian Arabs, and worldwide pressure to surrender and give in. He does not have an easy job during these continually trying times for the Jewish people.
5. Lockheed Martin: Lockheed Martin, one of the world’s largest companies with over $45 Billion dollars in revenue, is among the companies that have helped Israel continue to develop economically. In the very important Southern region of the country, they recently opened an office and as they said it was dedicated to “..further demonstrate the Corporation’s commitment to supporting the Israeli Defense Force and their “Move to the South” campaign.”
6. Sheldon & Miriam Adelson: These Jewish heroes who are the largest Jewish philanthropists in the world and support so many amazing causes with their $200 Million in annual donations to Jewish issues. From Birthright to Yad Vashem and countless others, their support means so much for so many great organizations.
7. Chabad: The largest Jewish organization in the world which is thought to have over 3,600 synagogues in more than 1,000 cities in the world. The organization nourishes the souls of more than 1 Million Jews all over the world annually.
8. Companies of Start-Up Nation: Those companies in Israel who have helped changed Israel – and the world – for the better in the last few years. They display endless energy, entrepreneurial spirit, and brains and soul. They create, they build, they innovate, all the while helping create jobs in Israel and sparking the economy. Worth celebrating their success.
9. Jewish Parents: Those mothers and fathers who raise families, individuals who channel their skills into ensuring that Jewish traditions continue from generation to generation. Whether it’s sitting around a Shabbat table, learning Torah, embracing a strong Israel, ensuring that the values of our religion continue must always be celebrated.
10. Holocaust Survivors: Those who are still with us from this awful time in Jewish history must be celebrated as we must never forget the 6 Million who were lost. As we remember them, we honor their memory by continuing on strongly. These are the last days in which we will have survivors with us and it’s vitally important we listen to their message while they are still with us to ensure the stories of the Holocaust are never forgotten.