Israel’s first prime minister’s vision honored Nov. 19
By Jacob Kamaras
At one of the darkest times in the history of the Jewish homeland, Americans for Ben-Gurion University (A4BGU) delivered a message of hope centered around David Ben-Gurion’s vision for the future of Israel, by leading the second annual Ben-Gurion Day in the USA on Nov. 19.
While Ben-Gurion Day is commemorated every year in Israel on Kislev 6, A4BGU brought it to the U.S. last year for the first time. On the heels of the Nov. 14 March for Israel in Washington, D.C., which produced the American Jewish community’s largest turnout ever for a demonstration, Ben-Gurion Day in the USA rallied Americans around a vision for 21st-century Zionism that is shaped by the pioneering spirit of David Ben-Gurion — who turned his dream of a Jewish homeland into reality and saw the Negev as the place where Israel’s innovative future would emerge.
Ben-Gurion Day in the USA is increasingly bringing this vision to life in America, inviting Americans to honor the visionary first prime minister of Israel and to connect with Israel’s rich history and heritage.
“David Ben-Gurion’s vision that the future of Israel is in the Negev — a region which has been disproportionately affected by the Oct. 7 massacre — made our commemoration of Ben-Gurion Day in the USA even more poignant and meaningful,” said Doug Seserman, CEO of A4BGU. “More so today than ever before, it is imperative that we honor Ben-Gurion’s legacy and keep his dream alive. He turned his dream of a Jewish homeland into reality. Together, we will prevail to keep this vision for the future of Israel alive.”
In Dallas, A4BGU’s community partners for this year’s Ben-Gurion Day in the USA included the Weitzman Family Religious School at Congregation Shearith Israel, Aaron Family JCC, Congregation Anshai Torah, Dallas Israel Teen Tour, Temple Shalom and Tiferet Israel Congregation.
They were among the more than 100 synagogues, schools and other Jewish institutions nationwide who joined A4BGU in honoring David Ben-Gurion’s timeless values and his love and passion for Israel. A4BGU offered its partners a free “Program in a Box,” designed to engage and inspire Jewish organizations and communities as they commemorated Ben-Gurion’s legacy in meaningful ways. Presented by A4BGU and The Ben-Gurion Heritage Institute, the box included lesson plans, talking points for community leaders and a compilation of Ben-Gurion’s inspirational quotes.
“It was inspiring to hear the next generation, as well as their educators, engage around and discuss David Ben-Gurion and his vision. It gives us hope for the future,” said Sissy Zoller, A4BGU’s Dallas-based director of development, who attended the Weitzman Family Religious School’s commemoration of Ben-Gurion Day in the USA.
For those seeking to join A4BGU in helping to fulfill David Ben-Gurion’s vision for the future, visit: a4bgu.org/negevprevails.