Winnipeg Jewish Review  
Site Search:
Home  |  Archives  |  Contact Us
Features Local Israel Next Generation Arts/Op-Eds Editorial/Letters Links Obituary/In Memoriam

David Matlow: Op-Ed: Thoughts From Home Before I Come Home

by David Matlow, August 10, 2014

I have been thinking a lot about my friend Danny while I have been in Israel during Operation Protective Edge. Danny lives in a small town in New Jersey but his heart is here in Israel. He remembers what it was like when there was no Israel, and he always becomes tearful when he thinks of how Jewish history has changed because we now have our own country.


“How do you build the Jewish state?" asks Danny as he waits to deliver the punch line of his favorite joke.


"Yidl by Yidl," jokes Danny.


Being in Israel at this time has vividly demonstrated the truth of Danny’s old joke. This country has been built, and continues to be built, by the contribution of each and every Jew. Everyone plays a part.


Of course, the brave soldiers of Zahal play the biggest part, and are making the biggest sacrifice. The entire country supports them. Egged buses have signs that proclaim, “We are with you. Come home safely”. The flag of the Israel Defense Forces flies from the lamp posts. Sixty-four soldiers have died in battle to date. The newspapers carry a story about the life of each and every one of them. Each loss is a tragedy beyond description.


The country is unified in support of the soldiers. Support is coming from outside Israel as well, as we have heard many stories of Torontonians who have dropped everything to come here with bags full of items for the soldiers. Israelis have also heard about the generosity of the Toronto community to UJA’s Israel Emergency Relief Fund. There will be much to do when the guns go silent to help get this country back to normal. Special attention will be needed for Israelis, especially those living in the south, who have experienced a month of the trauma that goes with the thousands of missiles from above, and the attack tunnels being dug beneath their homes. The amount raised in this Fund will be of tremendous benefit to our brothers and sisters in Israel.


As Canadians and Torontonians, I can report to you that we have much to be proud of when it comes to Israel. The people of Israel are very aware of the tremendous support for Israel by our Prime Minister and Government. Moreover, everyone in Israel knows how much the Jewish community of Toronto cares about Israel always, and especially during its difficult times. I have heard many times that Israel really finds out who its friends are when the going gets tough. I am proud to be a member of the Toronto community that stands with Israel during these tough times.


As the co-chair of the 2015 UJA Campaign together with Andrea Cohen, I have had an opportunity to consider what impact being in Israel at this time will have on our work for the Campaign, and I have concluded that it is essential that Israel remain strong. Our lives in Toronto would be very different if this were not the case. One important element to maintaining Israel’s strength is the strength of the Diaspora. The way to keep the Jewish community of Toronto strong is to support United Jewish Appeal.


Donations to UJA support our partner communities of Sderot, Eilat and Bat Yam in Israel. UJA dollars also support important advocacy and identity-building initiatives on behalf of Israel, such as Birthright Israel and the March of the Living that ensure a continuing connection between our young adults and the Jewish state, and formal and informal Jewish education that instills in our children an understanding of the importance of Israel to our lives and to our future. Supporting UJA also ensures that every Jewish person has a place to turn in a time of need. Thousands of people are helped every day by your contributions to UJA. This creates a community.


Andrea and I look forward to your support of the 2015 UJA Campaign if you have not done so already. We hope that everyone will participate to the best of his or her ability.


Together we will be helping to keep our community strong which will in turn help Israel stay strong.


This brings to mind a variation of Danny’s joke: “How do you build the Jewish community of Toronto. Yidl by yidl."


Shalom from Jerusalem. At the end of the week I will be leaving home to come home.


David Matlow is the Chair, along with Andrea Cohen, of UJA Campaign 2015 in Toronto.


This article is reprinted with the permission of Shalom Life.


<<Previous Article       Next Article >>
Subscribe to the Winnipeg Jewish Review
  • Royal Bank
  • Fillmore Riley
  • Jewish Federation of Winnipeg
  • JNF Manitoba / Saskatchewan
  • JCFS
  • JCFS Winnipeg
  • Orthodox Union
  • Accurate Lawn & Garden
  • Sobey's
  • Coughlin Insurance
  • Munroe Pharmacy
  • Safeway Tuxedo
  • Daniel Friedman and Rob Dalgleish
  • Lipkin Family
  • Booke + Partners
  • Red River Coop
  • Gislason Targownik
  • Janice Morley-Lecomte
  • James Teitsma
  • Obby Khan
  • Jon Reyes
  • James Bezan
  • Markus Chambers
  • Ross Eadie
  • Ted Falk
  • Artista Homes
  • Fetching Style
  • Chisick Family
  • Ronald B. Zimmerman
  • Bob and Shirley Freedman
  • Shinewald Family
  • MLT Aikins
  • MLT Aikins
  • Myers LLP
  • Levene Tadman Golub
  • Charach Family
  • Munroe Dental Centre
  • MCW Consultants Ltd.
  • Preventative Health First
  • Lanny Silver
  • Josef Ryan
  • Taverna Rodos
  • Holiday Inn Polo Park
  • Bruce Shefrin Interior Design
  • PFK Lawyers
  • Commercial Pool
  • Simmonds and Associates
  • CVA Systems
  • CdnVISA Immigration Consultants
  • Laufman Reprographics
  • Dr. Brent Schachter and Sora Ludwig
  • Clear Care Periodontal
  • Shindico
  • Doheny Securities Limited
  • Lazar Family
  • Superlite
  • Chochy's
  • Nick's Inn
  • Bridges for Peace
  • Global Philanthropic
  • Abe and Toni Berenhaut
  • Peerless Garments
  • Cavalier Candies
  • Roseman Corp
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • kristinas-greek
  • Broadway Law Group
  • West Kildonan Auto Service
  • The Center for Near East Policy Research Ltd.
  • Sarel Canada
  • Santa Lucia Pizza
  • Roofco Winnipeg Roofing
  • Center for Near East Policy Research
  • Nachum Bedein
Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.