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Why Do Israelis Love Israel?

Why Do Israelis Love Israel?

It's official: Israelis are happy. We have been ranked the 11th happiest country in the world in the recently released worldwide happiness index.  

Yom HaAtzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) is an opportunity for us to turn to the Israel Religious Action Center's staff - people who work on mending Israel's ailments every day - and ask them why. What do they love most about Israel? Here is what some of them had to say:

  • "I love living in a place where everyone speaks Hebrew. It is a language that is filled with innovation, humor, and profound Jewish roots." -Noa Sattath, director
  • "I went this week to see the movie Junction 48, a film about oppression faced by Israeli Palestinians in Lyd. The ability to watch a challenging movie like this in my own local theater reminded me that Israel is a democratic society that is open to tough conversations and harsh criticism of the government." -Orly Erez-Likhovski, legal department director
  • "I love the sense of freedom and community that my children enjoy on our religiously-diverse kibbutz in Northern Israel, where the cows still outnumber the people." -Ian Chesir-Teran, Diaspora relations
  • "I love the way Israelis think outside of the box. People step on each other's toes to try to find solutions to problems that are sometimes above their pay grade. It can be messy, but it opens up possibilities and allows for creative thinking." -Karen Saar, executive assistant
  • "I love that Israelis know how to roll with the punches. You can argue with someone for nine hours and then go out for a drink together afterwards." -Ruti Carmi, staff attorney

As for me? I'm not so big on the pursuit of happiness. I find happiness in the pursuit of meaning. Being an Israeli gives my life meaning because I take part in shaping one of the biggest modern experiments in Jewish history: the State of Israel. And for that, I couldn't be happier.

Anat Hoffman is the executive director of the Israel Religious Action Center, the public and legal advocacy arm of the Reform Jewish Movement in Israel. She is also the chairwoman of Women of the Wall, a group of Jewish women and men from around the world who strive to achieve the right of women to wear prayer shawls, pray, and read from the Torah collectively and out loud at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Anat Hoffman
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