Israel, Public Committee For The Selection Of Carriers Of The Torches, Rachel Rachel Bluestein discussed on The Promised Podcast


What the tongue is cold hard roads by corral bee smooth with a lad parrot. And now it's time for our third discussion which we are calling torched and here's why. The papers this week ran ads that read, quote, the chairman of the public committee for the selection of carriers of the torches invites the public to propose candidates to light a torch at the opening ceremony of independence say 57 82 the State of Israel's 74th Independence Day. The ceremony will take place on mount herzl Jerusalem on Independence Day eve. The fourth of ER 57 82 May 4th 2022 with the theme, a hand meets its sister hand. The theme is taken by way of inversion from a sad poem by the poet Rachel Rachel bluestein called locked garden that starts who are you, why does a hand extended not meet its sister hand? And eyes after a moment's weight turned to the ground abashed. Since 1951 every year Independence Day is rung in in a fraught and emotional transition from Memorial Day by a ceremony in which 12 torches are lit one for each of the biblical 12 tribes. Each of the torches is lit by one or a pair of people chosen because their lives and accomplishments somehow symbolize what is best about the country and the people who live here. Each year, a different broad theme is chosen and the torch lighters are chosen to fit that theme. Last year, the theme was Israeli brotherhood and sisterhood. We are all brothers and sisters. Three years before that, it was a heritage of innovation. Two years before that it was path breaking Israelis. In 2012, it was water, the source of life in 2008, it was the children of Israel, somebody think of the children. In 2004, it was sports in 1994. It was the environment in 1990, it was the Hebrew language, picking the torch bearers must be exquisitely hard and I don't envy the committee members who come up with the list, though, at the same time, I would give anything to be on that committee, finding people who have lived amazing lives and done amazing things. It's not hard actually in this amazing place. In Israel, but coming up with a selection of 12 that together make a kind of mosaic that represents the many different sides of Israeli society, well, that is hard. The rules governing the choice say that the final list must reflect, quote, geographic diversity, all ages, a variety of religious beliefs and non belief, different ethnicities, different genders and sexual orientations, speakers of different languages, a variety of professions and classes, different sectors of society, like settlement industry, development towns, far flung communities, educational communities, immigrants and native borns, people who have suffered for their national affiliation, including bereaved families, Holocaust survivors, terror victims, and such, the contributions of the armed services, which is a lot to balance. And sadly, I am not on the public committee for the selection of carriers of the torches. And maybe I never will be. But damn it, I am on a podcast and that's pretty good too. So what we are going to do is brainstorm our own long list of candidates, taking into account as many of the different criteria as we can alongside, of course, the theme, a hand meets its sister hand. How about we do this round Robin each of us ultimately offering three or four candidates before we start? I'll say that we have until December 26th to actually nominate people for the real committee. There's an online form, and I'm going to do this for my favorite of the 12 we come up with because it's about time that the promised podcast was represented at Independence Day ceremonies. I should add naturally we know some of the people we're going to nominate, which is usually how we know in the first place how awesome they are. We are not going to each time, say, blah, blah, blah, full disclosure, blah, blah. I know this person that we may mention. That we know them. I think it's safe to say that if what you're looking for is objective journalism with no cronyism and nepotism, then you've stumbled into the wrong podcast if what you're looking for though are celebrities screaming profanities while you're in the right place. But I digress. Don, who is your first candidate? I'm going to start with Ron Gareth, who's the executive director of a court and before that for a decade, was the Jewish co director of siku. I'll folk the means opportunity. The leading Jewish Arab NGO fighting for shared or equal society in Israel. He's just one of the most thoughtful and committed people I know trying to create a more just and fair society and building bridges between Jews and Arabs and a really astute clear eyed commentator frequent contributor to our other periodicals. I'm going to start with our friend, in fact, Miriam scler, who is the head of the Tel Aviv rape crisis center as she has been for, I don't know, 20 odd years. And took that thing that existed before and was and was really quite remarkable before and acquired for it a huge building and built it into something that is just one of the most meaningful institutions in the city, but mostly the thing about Miriam is that she just wakes up early every morning, helping people in these horrible situations and her patients is infinite and her energy is infinite. And just every time you see her, then she's coming up with new ideas about how to reach more people, how to help more children how to help more old people how to help families. It's just so moving and then there's this institution there that is always there that's any moment of their life in the middle of yom kippur if you need help, then it's there. And it's there because of her. So my first choice would have been since you've heard that my daughter gets so much out of her activity in crimbo wings and a 5 shell crumble would have been to nominate its founder. But guess what? She's already been nominated. She's already lit a torch on Independence Day. So, you know, she can't get a second bite at the apple. So in terms of people with disabilities, I'm going to turn to leora Sally, and tell Vardy, the cofounders of Romero really amazing program, which has led to hundreds. Maybe thousands at this point of young people on the autistic spectrum being able to have a meaningful service in the IDF. Neither of them had any background in disability. They were both senior intelligence professionals in the IDF, the aura had an autistic son, talgat interested, and they convinced the army, which wasn't so easy because it's not such a flexible institution to take a chance on this program to take advantage of the unique skills of people on the spectrum and harness them to the benefit of both sides. The IDF is definitely benefiting from their service and the autistic individuals are benefiting from this sort of path into the mainstream of Israeli life and its leading to some great career opportunities for them. Cool. And I'm going to cheat now and give you an Ethiopian trifecta. So doctor Nick eastman and Mikhail avira Samuel are both have been directors of the Fidelis association for the integration and successive Ethiopian Israelis and the geese was its founding director, then she found founding director of the Ethiopian national project and the head of the Rocha ion Department of Education for 5 years. The first Ethiopian Israeli head of a municipal education department, and one of the community's first leaders in the country. She came here as a social worker, and she really helped lift up the community. Miha, who started out as a young girl carrying water from the stream back to a village at a pitcher on her head. Came through the Sudan and was in transit camp for a year before she came to Israel and eventually took over fidelity. She is now ashly for the Jewish agency and emissary in Columbus. Ohio. So anyone who's listening from Columbus, please let me call no. She was mentioned. Doctor avram nosa, who started out as a shepherd. He told me when he took me to Ethiopia. This is where I used to stand when I was four years old, and my job was to make a noise, bang on a pot, if I saw a lion approaching. So he grew came to Israel and became the leader of the community and really the leader specifically or the followers more community. He was, I would say he's single handedly responsible for the immigration of tens of thousands of Ethiopian Israelis. He traded it as activist hat for the Knesset and became the first Ethiopian is rarely chair of a Knesset committee when he headed the Knesset committee.

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