Home September 2014 Rachel Goes Rogue

Rachel Goes Rogue

Where were you? Really, where the heck was everyone? I know this isn’t a positive way to start my column, but I need to push away my humor and joy to really make a point. See, Jewish Federation & Family Services (JFFS) threw one of the largest community rallies for Israel in the country. Approximately 2,000 Jews showed up with passion and force to support Israel (I’m so impressed with the OC Jewish community), both emotionally and monetarily, yet our age demographic did not show up in mass. Less than two percent of the 2,000 people were between the ages of 21 and 40. I’m devastated.
This is the difference between my mother’s generation and mine—and I think we need to learn from this moment. See, at the rally, there were seniors and what I would endearingly call “super seniors” in force. There were people who used canes and other walking aids to mobilize their bodies. Hands with history held signs with “Am Yisrael Chai.” Songs of Jewish pride were sung and the names of fallen soldiers were tastefully read, bringing tears to the eyes of many. However, we were not there!
It is wonderful that we all use social media to have a common voice for Israel. It is amazing that we can sit behind our computers in our pajamas or when our bosses aren’t looking, to mention when another missile is launched. But, our generation is absolutely missing the point. This is something I feel so strongly about that I encourage you to stop and reread this next sentence. Israel needs our hands, our hearts and our action… support, real support, is not just words or pixels. We need to stand together, we need to give resources together, we need to continue visiting Israel, and we need to send them our money. We cannot stand on the shoulders of our parents anymore. Some of us are parents….
I am not trying to shame or condemn my readers, so let me apologize if this has sparked that emotion in you. However, we are the ones who just got a free trip to Israel through Birthright. We are the next generation of Jews to ensure the Holocaust is not able to happen again, and I am concerned that we are not in an activist’s era.
JFFS allowed me to partner with NextGen, providing another avenue for our age demographic to give and get involved. We worked on “Safe-Tea,” a philanthropy event on August 5 that allowed participants to donate to the Israel Emergency Campaign. One hundred percent of the donations went directly to Israel. This event is of brick and mortar. It is one thing to be in the virtual world, but we must deal in reality.
Social media can be a wonderful tool, but we need to continue to be a community and a demographic that follows words posted on social media with action and support. Our strength is as a unit. Our need to defend Israel is much greater than a post on social media. We are the Jews of Orange County. We love what we have in America, but let’s not forget Israel is our extended home and should be a safe place for Jews for years to come. As our families avoids missiles and attacks, I implore you to become an active investor in Israel’s future. Be passionate, be Jewish, be a hero and give! Am Yisrael Chai!
If you would still like to donate to the Israel Emergency Campaign, you are able to continue to do so at the following link: www.jewishorangecounty.org

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