Shabbat Shalom From the President 12.13.13

 Jeffrey Savit with Daniel Katz, Gabby Washay, Caleb Gladstone and Peter Garber

How did it get to be mid-December so quickly?  Although snowy, cold, and dark nights have settled in, I want to transport you to a magical place which will hopefully warm your souls. This locale is Teddy Kollek Park, a lush green, urban oasis located across the street from the Jaffa Gate entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem. At Kollek Park, all of Jerusalem’s citizens, let alone visitors to the city, are invited to leisurely spend time, stroll through its soothing tree-lined paths and gardens, and become transfixed by the surrounding walled landscape of the Old City. Inside the Kollek Visitors’ Center, guests are treated to learn about Jerusalem’s most famous mayor, for which the park is named. Teddy Kollek believed that Jerusalem needed to become a city that catered to and was inclusive of all of its residents. The Park thus reflects the ethos of its namesake. Guests who come at night are treated to the most magnificent site of all-the dancing, musical, and illuminated water show that cascades playfully and proudly from the Sylvia Hassenfeld Family Fountains.

As stunning as the Park and the Fountains are, what I found to be even more joyful and impactful were the comments made to me by our Rhode Island teenagers attending Gap Year programs in Israel. To a person, each one told me how touched and tickled they were to spend an evening with one another, at a destination in the heart of Jerusalem, that was created and designed by a fellow Rhode Island family. Together, we all felt very much at home and experienced a vital piece of Rhode Island, together, in Jerusalem.  The pulse, reach, commitment, and heart of the Greater Rhode Island Jewish Community shines across the globe.

Shabbat Shalom to one and all.

My best wishes always,




Shabbat Shalom From the President 12.13.13

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