B’nai B’rith Fall 2017 Magazine Also Focuses on the Golan Heights, the Oldest Synagogue in the Western Hemisphere and the Balfour Declaration
American Alex Singer loved Israel and joined the Israeli military in his early 20s. He died in battle in 1987, on his 25th birthday. He left behind an incredible array of drawings, letters and journal entries, introducing us to a thoughtful and sometimes conflicted soul trying to navigate his way through life and war.
Alex Singer was killed in battle on Sept. 15, 1987, and it was while sitting Shiva, that his parents, Suzanne and Max Singer, decided to organize the letters and drawings Alex sent to his friends and family members. The subsequent book “Alex: Building a Life: The Story of an American Who Fell Defending Israel” was published in 1996, and an accompanying guide for teachers was published in 1998.
B’nai B’rith Executive Vice President and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin writes about the delegation he co-led to Georgia and Azerbaijan. During their trip B’nai B’rith leaders, members and supporters met with the prime ministers of both countries and other key governmental officials. Mariaschin also discusses the Jewish histories in Georgia and Azerbaijan.
In other articles, the magazine looks at the Golan Heights 50 years after the Six-Day War, the oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere and the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, where Britain endorsed a Jewish state in Palestine.
Since Israel won control of the Golan in 1967, the region has been transformed. Rejuvenated residential communities thrive despite ongoing challenges and the Golan Heights has been re-branded into a destination for tourists who take in its wineries and historical sites.
Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue is the oldest continuously functioning Jewish house of worship in the Western Hemisphere. Every year, thousands of visitors are welcomed by a congregation now rapidly diminishing in numbers. Its leaders are hopeful that the synagogue’s future can be assured.
The euphoria after the publication of a brief letter in 1917, known as the Balfour Declaration, has been preceded by years of strategic planning, alliances and meetings, with participation by members of B’nai B’rith from within Britain’s Jewish communities.
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