Monday, October 19, 2009

"An Evening with Yehudah and Shomron"

Dutch and I had the pleasure and privilege of hearing Marc Prowisor speak at the Shaarei Tefillah Synagogue last night about his experiences as the Chief Army Security Coordinator for Shilo, Israel from 1996-2006 and his current work as Director of Security Projects for the One Israel Fund. He spoke of the thriving Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (a.k.a. the West Bank), the fact of Jewish ownership of the land of Israel and the challenges and joys of living there.

Marc has a blog called Yesha Views. I'll be reading it.

Before Marc spoke, we were treated to a lovely photo presentation by Ezra Ridgley. It was interesting and refreshing to see photos of the homes, neighbourhoods and residents of so many towns in Judea and Samaria. The people we saw depicted were not religious zealots: they were normal people. They are not "settlers". The homes, neighourhoods and beautiful terrain reminded Dutch of a city in California. They are not "settlements".

I was expecting to see overcrowded areas with houses or shanties at least as close together as they are in the old city of Toronto. And homeless Muslim people forced to live in cardboard boxes. But no: it looks like there is a lot of room for growth in the area. I don't know what all the fuss is about over allowing young Jewish couples to build homes near their parents so they can keep their families together.

Ezra has written a book called, Judea and Samaria; The Land of G-d. We bought a copy (part of the proceeds of his book sales last night went to the One Israel Fund) and I am looking forward to reading it.

I was not familiar with the One Israel Fund before last night. They are doing good work.

I'm pretty sure I was told that Marc was interviewed by the Jewish Tribune, so I'll be looking for it in this week's issue.

Correction: Marc's interview with the Jewish Tribune has already appeared and you can read it here.

Dutch videotaped the speeches. We'll put the video up as soon as we can. Marc is a dynamic speaker; I know you'll enjoy it.