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A Prayer for Peace from Alona Nir- URJ Central Shaliach

‏יום חמישי ‏24 ‏יולי ‏2014

Dear all,

I write to you as I sit by the lake at Camp Coleman, Georgia. For the past several hours I have been walking around with a dilemma- what exactly am I supposed to write? the heart breaks when hearing about the fallen soldiers; knowing of the hundreds of people killed on the other side; thinking about all the evil and stupidity that encompasses us as a nation, as a state and as a society, and knowing that it is only getting worse with no end in sight. The thin and false sheath of sanity in which we are supposedly living in as Israelis is being brutally torn away.

And all of this is happening while sitting on a calm lake, surrounded by hills filled with trees. This serenity is deceiving. We cannot ignore what is happening in Israel, yet we also cannot forget the goal for which we are all here - increasing affinity and love of Israel. How do we do this when at home families are running to shelters, friends are being drafted, and people are demonstrating or filling their Facebook newsfeed with blabber, trying to encompass it all. How do we do this when campers all around us are busy day and night sliding down ropes, riding bicycles and rowing canoes; in sum, being summer campers?

But the campers here are at a Jewish Reform camp, and that makes all the difference.

Here at Coleman we have twenty Jewish Agency emissaries and a few IMPJ campers, as in all the other 13 Reform Movement camps across the United States.

The little bit that we can do is talk and talk and talk - with one another, with the American staff around us, with the campers (in a thoughtful way).

One of the things that many camps have begun doing is sending a “red hug” to our Reform Community, Kehilat Sha'ar HaNegev and to all residents of Israel as part of student-Rabbi Yael Karie's initiative to reclaim the color red. Below are some examples.



Another thing we are doing is mentioning what is happening in Israel when we pray; pray for peace in Israel peace for all. http://vimeo.com/101183002

May we see peace and quiet speedily in our time, for us and all inhabitants of the earth,

Alona Nir-Keren

Central URJ Emissary