The Good Land and the Good Sea
At Jewish Newport, August 12, 2017
Rabbi Marc Mandel greeted the congregation, and then spoke briefly,
“This morning’s parsha [Parashat Eikev, Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25] deals a lot with the land of Israel and its unique place in Jewish Life.
“Israel is referred to as Haaretz Hatovah (האֶ֣רֶץ הטוֹבָ֑ה) The good land. Our generation has been blessed to live in a time when Israel has developed into a beautiful, modern and successful country.
“At our Kiddish today we will hear from a speaker who is very devoted to Israel. Avi Nevel recently founded the R.I.I.C.-The Rhode Island Israel Collaborative which will promote commerce academics and science between RI and Israel.
“Avi has served as the chairman of the Israel Task force committee of the Jewish Alliance, and is on the executive board of the New England Israel Business Council. In 2015, Avi co-organized the first Rhode Island economic mission to Israel: Thanks to Avi.
“The connection between our community and Israel is a strong one: We are a small community, but that doesn’t we can’t try to build our connection to Israel.”
At the Kiddish, sponsored by Philip Mintz, Avi Nevel recalled learning about the YamTov project from Attorney Doron Levit. “Yamtov [Good Sea] is a national enterprise to bring about change in people by connecting them to the sea through challenging activities, along with emotional processing and social integration in sailing clubs through the country. Sail to Prevail, a Newport program run by Paul Callahan has similar objectives.”
With the help of Discover Newport’s Evan Smith, the Israeli group and the Newport group connected.
From September 10-17 an Israeli delegation will come to Newport. Among them will be people from the military and police and civilians who were wounded in action or in terrorist incidents, as well as a woman whose brother was killed in action. They will sail daily with “Sail to Prevail,” and do some sightseeing also. We hope to meet them at Touro during a Friday evening in September.
The hope is that in 2018, a group from Rhode Island will reciprocate by traveling to Israel.
There is still a lot to be done to put the visit together, and Avi Nevil is working with Rabbi Mandel and Bea Ross.
Let’s pray for smooth sailing!