This past week was perhaps one of the best examples of how strongly we connect to Israel here in Boston and the incredible opportunities we have to engage with our Israeli friends and family. The 2nd annual Boston-Haifa Connection Hatikvah Soldiers Mission just ended, and we are incredibly grateful so many people were able to take part in the different events, particularly the Yom HaShoah Commemoration in front of the Holocaust Memorial last Sunday.

The hundreds of community members, both Jewish and non-Jewish, who had a chance to hear from and speak with the 14 officers know how special this delegation was and how fortunate we all are to have had such a talented, engaging, and caring group with us.

In the coming days and weeks, I will be posting additional thoughts about what we experienced, including some of the officers’ own reflections about what they gained and the impact the week had on them. As dedicated and responsible as they obviously all were prior to the mission, it’s clear that to a person, they are returning to duty in Israel with a renewed sense of purpose, and I can’t think of a better way to convey it than to let one of the officers do it herself.

Here’s Osnat Rotlevi reflecting on her experience as part of the Hatikvah Soldiers Mission: