By Livia Link-Raviv
Shanah Tovah from me, my family and the entire Israeli consulate. I am extremely excited to be starting my new role as consul general of Israel to the Southwest; it is an honor and a privilege to serve Israel and the Jewish people just in time to celebrate the beginning of 5782. This will be an extra-sweet Rosh Hashanah for me and my family, as we now get to call Houston our new home and I begin my journey of getting to meet and work with all of Israel’s great friends that exist here in the Southwest.
I know we are all looking forward to a new year and a fresh start. Rosh Hashanah is a wonderful time that brings an abundance of change that gives the Jewish people the blessing of new beginnings. I am truly overjoyed to be welcomed into this community that I have heard so much about. I know of your warmth, hospitality, resilience and the true concern that you show for your neighbors. Your proud sense of Zionism and advocacy for the Jewish state here is commendable, and I am honored to build on the years of friendship that exists between Texas and Israel.
The High Holidays are not only a time of new beginnings, but also an important opportunity to reflect on the past. It has been a challenging year for all of us, as we have weathered the heartbreaking storm of COVID-19. We remember all of those who have been impacted by this pandemic, especially our loved ones we have lost. May their memory be for a blessing.
Behind the shadow that this season has cast, we have, however, discovered our resilience, and the strength of drawing back into the safety and comfort of our families. It is a blessing to learn how to rely on one another, and it has provided the stability and warmth that has helped preserve our communities for generations. The love we share within our families is the foundation that we build off to cultivate strong friendships and communities, and this could not be more on display than what we have seen in this past year.
Just as our families are an important source of strength, so too is the bond of arvut hadadit (mutual responsibility) between Israel and the diaspora. Israel cares deeply about this community; we celebrate your successes, and stand with you during times of crisis, as we are one people. I look forward to bringing all of us closer together, getting to know you and sharing my love and passion for the state of Israel. Our shared nation is ready to walk into 5782 with many new friends by its side, including the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco, and soon many more. This is a kind reminder that there are always new beginnings and fresh starts to build a better tomorrow.
As we enter into the High Holidays and I begin my term as consul general of Israel to the Southwest, let us look forward to all of the fresh possibilities that await us. Remember that you always have an open invitation at the consulate, and I wish you a year of health, kindness and a renewed spirit.
May we all be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life this coming year. L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu v’Tichatemu.
Livia Link-Raviv is consul general of Israel to the Southwest.