It’s a big one — 70 years of statehood. And like all milestone birthdays, Israel’s 70th gives us the opportunity to reflect, to celebrate, to remember, to tell our stories. Israel Independence Day kicks off the evening of April 18, and J. is marking the occasion with a special Israel at 70 section in tomorrow’s print edition, and much more here on our website in the run-up to the holiday.
In print tomorrow: Our Israel correspondent Renee Ghert-Zand talks to a half-dozen former Bay Area residents who have made aliyah; Jewish Film Institute executive director Lexi Leban suggests 10 great streaming films about Israel; and Jewish Community Library director Howard Freedman recommends the best of Israeli literature from 1945 to the present day. All three of those pieces will be online soon.
We also wanted to include many voices from our local Jewish community, in all of its diversity and richness. So we solicited essays from more than three dozen people representing a range of ages, backgrounds and beliefs. We asked them to write about what Israel means personally and why it matters to them, to the Jewish people and the world. What have they found inspiring? In what ways do they wish Israel would do better? How does Zionism intersect with their Jewish identity?
Some of these essays appear in print this week; online, there will be new ones every day. We thank everyone who took part in this endeavor. Let us know what you think.
Plus: If you’re looking for some local Israel Independence Day events, we’ve got you covered.
Now, about that very modern portrait of early Zionist leader Theodore Herzl you see above: This week’s cover art is “Hipster Herzl,” a reimagined portrait of Herzl. It is part of the Hipstory series by Israeli designer-illustrator Amit Shimoni. The 30-year-old artist has found a niche for himself by portraying world leaders, as well as Israeli icons, as modern-day hipsters.