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Israel Independence Day: 71 Wonderful WIZO Achievements of the Past Year

For Israel’s 71st Independence Day, we proudly present - in no particular order - a list of 71 wonderful WIZO achievements of the past year                                                    

May 08, 2019
Israel Independence Day: 71 Wonderful WIZO Achievements of the Past Year

WIZO takes tremendous pride in all its achievements. It is truly impossible to count all them all.

As the State of Israel celebrates its 71st birthday, here is a list of 71 WIZO achievements of the past year. This list is in no particular order (it is not a ranking, simply a list) and it is by no means exhaustive (picking just 71 achievements was quite a challenge).

Take pride in these 71 wonderful achievements and the part you play in WIZO's continued efforts to better the lives of children, youth, women, and all sectors of Israel's society.

Happy 71st Israel Independence Day!

71 Wonderful WIZO Achievements of the Past Year

1. CHW Hadassim Wins National Award for Educational Excellence

 The prestigious “Pras HaChinuch”, the highest possible honor that can be conferred upon an educational institution in Israel, comes after the school won the Education Ministry's Excellence Award for three consecutive years.


2. WIZO Nachlat Yehuda Sets Matriculation Eligibility Record

In national statistics released in July, WIZO Nachlat Yehuda showed the largest rise in student eligibility for matriculation - an unprecedented increase of 100%!

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3. WIZO Vocational School Student Wins National Excellence Award

Eliahu Sharvit, an 11th grade student from the WIZO Vocational School in Jerusalem, was awarded the National Excellence Award by Israel's President and the Minister of Education.

4. WIZO Launches Graduate Association

The Graduate Association seeks to expand WIZO’s social work by enabling alumni to give back to the organization responsible for their education which shaped their lives and improve the social situation in Israel.

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5. First Graduating Class of WIZO Gan Vanof Veterinary Studies Program

The three-year, one-of-a-kind program in Israel for high school youth, includes regular high school classes at WIZO Gan Vanof and specialized courses from a local veterinary college.

6WIZO Leaders at International Women's Day Conference at EU Parliament in Brussels

Marië Joshua-Querido, WIZO's AVIV representative from WIZO Belgique-Luxembourg shared her personal experiences as a young WIZO leader taking part in this important global gathering.

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7. WIZO Nir Ha'Emek's Award-Winning AutoTech Program

After capturing second place in the prestigious national Autonomous Vehicle Competition for Students, the Nir HaEmek Autotech program sets its sights on the road ahead.


8. WIZO Nachlat Yehuda's Song & Dance Troupe Thrills Audiences on Three-City Tour of France

The troupe’s energetic performances celebrating Israel’s 70th Independence Day made a deep impression on the sold-out French audiences and on the young Israeli performers as well\.


9. WIZO Graduate Oshra Friedman Appointed Deputy Director General of Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women

The appointment is the highest-ranking position within the Offices of the Government Ministries and National Authorities ever attained by a woman of Ethiopian descent.

10. WIZO Leads March Protesting Violence Against Women

Hundreds, including WIZO leaders and Israeli MKs, gathered at WIZO's Tel Aviv headquarters and took to the streets to march in WIZO's protest against the murder of women and domestic violence. 


11. Otzma Tzeira Empowers Teenage Girls Through the Arts

Over one hundred teenage girls from across Israel marked the completion of the unique WIZO program, which empowers them via the teaching of photography, film, theater, and music.


12. WIZO UK Celebrates 100th Birthday

Founded in 1918, "The Mother Federation", WIZO UK, celebrated its centennial in grand style, appointing Ronit Ribak Madari as their new Chairperson.

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13. First Graduating Class of WIZO Nachlat Yehuda’s Fire & Rescue Cadet Program

The celebration of the first-ever graduating class of the WIZO Nachlat Yehuda Youth Village Fire & Rescue Cadets Program revealed the spark behind this unique and empowering program.


14. WIZO Students Receive Gold Award at 2018 Youth Awards Ceremony

Thirty-four students from three WIZO schools, CHW Hadassim, Nahalal, and Nir Ha'Emek, were among the 110 recipients of the Gold Award at the Israel Youth Awards Ceremony, the highest possible honors from a British initiative operating around the world.

15. WIZO AVIV Young Leadership Mission 2018

After a week of learning, sharing, and bonding, the thirty international participants of the Jerusalem-based WIZO AVIV Young Leadership Mission returned home energized and inspired.


16.  Award-Winning Social Entrepreneurs Get Inspired by WIZO's Commitment to Israel

During their weeklong tour, the winners of WIZO UK’s Commitment Awards, which recognize individuals who make a positive impact on the lives of others, saw firsthand how WIZO impacts the lives of all sectors of the Israeli public.

17. WIZO Parents Home Library Renovated in Memory of Hana Gleitman 

On the 100th birthday of Hana Gleitman z"l, mother of WIZO Austria Honorary President Dr. Hava Bugajer, her family dedicated the newly renovated WIZO Parents Home library in her memory.

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18.  Interantional Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women Campaign

WIZO shined a spotlight on men caught up in the cycle of violence in a campaign featuring award-winning Israeli actor Lior Ashkenazi.


19. WIZO Pardes Katz Kids Star in Shenkar Student Photo Exhibit

Culminating in an exhibition of 15 full-size portraits taken at the WIZO Pardes Katz bigudit (second-hand thriift store), the experience was eye opening for both the student photographers and their young subjects.


20 The 2019 Meeting of Representatives (MOR)

One hundred WIZO leaders from across the globe assembled in Israel for a week of solidarity and support for WIZO’s work in advancing all sectors of society in Israel.


21. WIZO Program Paves the Way for Female Haredi Leaders

Beginning its second year, WIZO’s Ha'Nivcheret training program for ultra-Orthodox women prepares and encourages them to take on public leadership roles in civil society, local and national politics and in their own communities.

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22. Coexistence Through Art: The Olive Tree Project

A WIZO program in which local Jewish and Arab women from the city of Afula and the surrounding Arab villages paint together while creating bonds of understanding continues at the WIZO Afula Community Center.

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23. IDF Soldiers Meet Holocaust Survivors at WIZO Parents Home

On Yom Hoshoa (Holocaust Remembrance Day) over 30 IDF soldiers visited WIZO’s Parents Home as part of “Flower for the Survivor" a nationwide project in which soldiers meet Holocaust survivors and hear their personal life stories.

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24. WIZO Leaders Meets with Israel’s President on Violence Against Women

In December, World WIZO Chairperson Prof. Rivka Lazovsky and WIZO Israel Chairperson Gila Oshrat participated in a crucial meeting on eradicating violence against women with Israel's President Reuven Rivlin at his official residence in Jerusalem. (Photo Credit: Mark Neiman / GPO)

The Jewish Press: WIZO Leaders Meet with President Rivlin on Domestic Violence

25. Models Bring Smiles to WIZO Women's Shelter

20 leading fashion models, plus hair and makeup artists from ITM, one of Israel’s foremost modeling agencies, conducted a styling and makeup session for the shelter’s residents and entertained their children with special activities that included balloons, gifts, and more.

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26Kurt & Sigrid Blondheim Day Care Center Dedicated in Mevaseret Zion

Sponsored by WIZO Germany, the new state-of-the-art day care center answers the early-age needs of a growing community. 


27. Word WIZO’s Chairperson’s Mission to India

In November, World WIZO Chairperson Prof. Rivka Lazovsky embarked on a week long mission to India. Accompanied by WIZO India President Yael Jhirad, she met India's Jewish, national and local leaders and shared WIZO's experience educating children and youth, empowering women and combating domestic violence.

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28. A Bar Mitzvah “Fiesta”

In the summer, four generations of the Shrem-Serur families of Mexico City celebrated the Bar Mitzvah of David Shrem at the Wizo Mexico sponsored Max & Amparo Shein Day Care Center in Beit Dagan. "WIZO is part of my life - it is my life!" a very emotional Shula Shrem, David's mother and the Honorary President of WIZO Mexico, told the group. "I am passing on to my son our WIZO tradition of giving."

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29. WIZO Nahalal Sends in the Clowns

WIZO's Nahalal Youth Village was one of the first schools to adopt the use of Educational Clowns. Similar to medical clowns, these cheery volunteers assist in reducing stress and anxiety among students, teachers and educational staff in the school setting just as their counterparts do in a medical center.

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30. WIZO Nir Ha'Emek Police Cadets Visit German Police Academy

Eleven students from Nir Ha'emek's Police Academy Cadet Program visited the German Police Academy in the southwest state of Rhineland-Palatinate where they learned about the work of the academy and the police force in this German state.


31. WIZO’s Emergency Campaign for the South

The program enabled supporters to reach out to assist Israelis under threat of rocket attacks.


 32. WIZO Nir Ha'Emek & Nahalal Students Address the Knesset

In a special Knesset session focusing on Israel's youth villages, students from the WIZO Nir Ha'emek and Nahalal Youth Villages spoke about how their schools deeply impact the lives of students.


33. WIZO Panama Dedicates Beautiful New Synagogue at Gan Vanof 

Generously donated by the Harari family of Panama, the Jewish community of Panama and WIZO Panama, the Yad Mordechai synagogue will serve the students of the youth village for years to come.


 34WIZO’S Early Age Division Kicks off Nationwide Dental Hygiene Campaign

Over 300 children and their parents took part in a special event at the Early Age Center in Beersheva in which WIZO launched a special program aimed at educating toddlers and children up to the age of 3 on dental hygiene. Held in cooperation with Oral-B, the event included training for parents (stories to encourage children to brush their teeth), an arts and crafts area on dental hygiene, and a special performance by leading children’s entertainer "Michal Ha'ktana”. All attendees also received a kit with an electric toothbrush courtesy of Oral-B.

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35. WIZO Nir Ha’Emek Student Crowned Miss Israel

Nikol Reznikov, an 18-year old communications student at WIZO Nir HaEmek in Afula was crowned Miss Israel 2018. A native of Afula, Nikol told the press that the reason she took part in the competition was in order to use the media exposure to help weaker segments in Israeli society. (Photo Credi Yaron Berner)

ניקול רזניקוב: "להיות מלכה זה נותן המון כוח תקשורתי" (צילום: ירון ברנר)

36. NOWTHISHER Reports on WIZO’s Protests Against Violence Towards Women

NowThis, the #1 most watched video news creator on social media, created a video summary of WIZO's domestic violence protest march in Tel Aviv in December.

37Visiting French WIZO Delegation Shows Support to Sderot

In November Joelle Lezmi, the then President of WIZO France, led a visiting group of over 20 French WIZO supporters on a visit to Sderot, the southern Israeli town which suffered a barrage of rocket attacks from Gaza just a week prior. The first stop was Sderot's two WIZO France sponsored day care centers, Rolande Zajfen and Jacqueline Emma Benghouzi, which are both rocket-proof.

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38. Golden Anniversary Reunion at CHW Hadassim

Exactly 50 years after they first came to study at CHW Hadassim Youth Village for a year as 10th graders from Canada and the US in the summer of 1968, a dozen participants from that program returned to CHW Hadassim for a very special reunion. “We will view Hadassim through mature eyes," reunion organizer Rabbi Shawn Zell told the Canadian Jewish News in April in advance of the reunion. "We will see one another, rekindle friendships and share memories. Most of all, we will introspect as we ask ourselves how our year in Hadassim played a role in our lives." 

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39. WIZO'S New Social Order Leadership Program Drives Druze Women Forward

More than 40 Druze women participated in the WIZO program, empowering them to make a difference within their communities

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40. WIZO Ireland Becomes Official Federation

World WIZO welcomed WIZO Ireland to the WIZO family of international federations. Congratulations to WIZO Ireland's first President Karen Eppel and her dynamic executive.

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41.  Nahalal Teacher Recognized by Israel's President as Outstanding Worker

Natan Peri, who has been a teacher at the CHW- WIZOUK Nahalal Youth Village for 32 years, was one of the recipients of Israel's Outstanding Worker Awards presented in the presence of Israel's President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem.

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42Summer Activities at WIZO Beit Tzipora

 In addition to regular after school enrichment programs, WIZO Beit Tzipora provides summer camps for nearly 200 students from immigrant familes.

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43.  WIZO MOR Participants Mark International Holocaust Memorial Day With #WeRemember

WIZO joined in the worldwide #WeRemember campaign on the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps, to honor the six million Jewish victims, of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of the evil Nazi regime, including the precious chaverot from 14 beloved WIZO Federations. 


44. WIZO’s Outstanding Student Athletes

Shaked (left) and Adiso (right), two 12th grade student-athletes from WIZO Nachlat Yehuda Youth Village in Rishon LeZion, are quickly making their mark on the track. In March 2018  they each won 1st place medals in the 100 meter races at Israel's Rural Education in Athletics Championships. With support from their school, the pair returned from a special athletic training camp in Cyprus and they also participated in national competitions in Israel. They also excel in the classroom, where they are among the school's outstanding students.  

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45. Teens Meet Toddlers

Over 100 enthusiastic teenagers from Canadian Young Judaea visited three Canadian Hadassah-WIZO (CHW) sponsored Daycare Centers in the center of Israel, learning about WIZO’s work with children in the process.One of the teens summed up the memorable experience as follows: "I loved every second. I hope I can come back soon. This was the best day I had in Israel - ever!”

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46. Chess Tournament at WIZO Nir Ha’Emek

Hundreds of enthusiastic young chess players took part in the annual "Nahum Naphtali" Under-14 National Chess Competition at the WIZO Nir Ha'Emek Youth Village.
Nahum Naphtali was a 19-year-old IDF soldier who fell in battle on the first day of the Yom Kippur War in 1973. He was also the older brother of Nir Ha'Emek's director, Esti Cohen. Nahum was a chess champion and loved playing the game. His family and friends established a fund in his memory which supports chess activities for youth in Israel's periphery as well as the national competition held annually at Nir Ha'Emek. (Photo Credit: Emek News)

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47WIZO Salutes Its Schools & Youth Villages at Gala Event

Hosted at CHW Hadassim, recipient of the National Education Prize awarded by Israel’s Education Minister, the event showcased WIZO’s excellence in educating and empowerment Israel’s youth 


48Australian Ambassador to Israel Visits WIZO Ahuzat Yeladim

In January, Australian Ambassador to Israel Chris Cannan, visited the WIZO Ahuzat Yeladim Boarding School in Haifa with President of WIZO Australia, Paulette Cherny, along with the Co-President of WIZO Victoria, Helen Granek. Accompanying them was the President of World WIZO, Ester Mor. The group was also joined by the Australian Jewish News Israel correspondent Nathan Jeffay, giving an opportunity for the press to get an inside view of the dedication and commitment of the staff of the school, the WIZO women and the impact that WIZO has on the lives of those who call the boarding school home.

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493GM -  Generations Mission Launched

A fun filled female adventure brought to you by World WIZO’s Leadership & Global Relations Division, consists of a week’s tour of Israel with memories to last a lifetime.

50. Druze WIZO Woman Makes History 


51. CHW Hadassim Wins Debate Title 

CHW Hadassim’s English language Debate Team was awarded first prize after finishing tops among 180 schools in Israel in a national competition.


52Mission to Mexico

World WIZO’s Fundraising Division Chairperson Anita Friedman made a special mission to WIZO Mexico during which she delivered training sessions on WIZO, including a seminar on fundraising to 85 WIZO chaverot at WIZO Mexico’s headquarters in Mexico City. She was also the guest speaker at special gala cocktail fundraiser whose theme was “WIZO: Israel’s First Social Startup”

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53. Donating Hair Shows You Care

Big-hearted students from the hairstyling track at WIZOuk-sponsored Rebecca Sieff Centre for the Family Vocational School together with their teachers took part in a hair donation event at a local shopping center to benefit cancer patients. 

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54. Day Care Center Caregivers Complete Management Course

18 WIZO day care center caregivers celebrated the completion of their six month long WIZO Management Course (Atuda Nihulit) with a special graduation ceremony at World WIZO's Tel Aviv Headquarters. Established by WIZO's Early Age Division, the course provides the participants both managerial and professional training, all the tools they need to become WIZO day care center directors.

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55.  WIZO Staff Lends a Helping Hand on Good Deeds Day

From playground duties in WIZO Day Care Centers to gardening and painting at WIZO schools, youth villages and Parents Home, the WIZO team exemplified WIZO’s volunteering spirit 


56. Hanna Rubenstein's Gala Birthday Celebration Benefits WIZO

In lieu of gifts, Rubinstein, who serves as Honorary Chair of WIZO Los Angeles, requested that all guests make a donation to WIZO women’s shelters.

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57. WIZO Nir Ha'Emek Students Raise Poverty Awareness on "Day Without Hunger"

Under the slogan "One in three kids is hungry", over 20 local eateries sold food for just 2 New Israeli Shekels (NIS) to support the 5th annual “Day Without Hunger” campaign 


58. WIZO Marks International Women's Day 2019

From a fascinating conference on Israeli women in politics (including a panel of female MKs) to publishing their Glass Ceiling Index, WIZO marked and celebrated International Women's Day 2019 with several important initiatives and events.


59. Nahalal Takes 2nd Place in National Student Cyber Competition

WIZO Nahalal captured 2nd place in the High School Programming category of the 2019 Student Cyber Championships for developing a computer game that played against all the other teams in the competition. Another team from Nahalal placed 8th overall.

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60. Why WIZO – Day Care Centers

Parents share why they chose to send their precious children to WIZO day care centers. 

61. 2019 MOR Participants Visit WIZO Music Centre

Seventeen year old Emmanuel Ladinsky, a student at WIZO's Margaret Gold Music Centre in Tiberias sponsored by WIZOuk, wowed the audience of MOR (Meeting of Representative) participants with his wonderful violin playing. He was just one of the many talented young musicians that train at the center.


 62. WIZO Rehovot Students Take Home 2nd Place in Film Competition

Endless Call" a short student film made by 12th grade students in the technological communication track at the WIZO Municipal Technological High School in the name of Maya Rosenberg in Rehovot, took home 2nd place in the Israeli Ministry of Education's "Best Creation Festival" for the central region. 

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63Sale of Second-Hand Clothes Benefits WIZO

WIZO's Bigudit (chain of second-hand clothing stores) held a special sale in the hall of WIZO's Tel Aviv headquarters where shoppers could find quality items from leading brands at low prices. All proceeds from each sale during this important fundraising project went to support WIZO Israel's crucial social welfare projects for at-risk children, youth, and women in Israel. 

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64. Israeli News Look Inside a WIZO Youth Village

Israel's Broadcasting Authority ("Kan", Channel 11) Saturday night newscast went inside CHW Hadassim, WIZO's award-winning youth village, sharing an intimate glimpse at what these amazing young people go through and how WIZO completely changes their lives. 

65. WIZO Honors Gail Perl

WIZO saluted Gail Perl, the then co-President of WIZO USA, for her "significant contribution to the treatment and prevention of domestic violence in Israel". The honor was presented at WIZO's annual conference to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. In recent years, WIZO NY, under Gail's leadership, has become a strategic partner in WIZO's efforts in this area, providing millions of dollars of support for a wide range of projects and programs, including matching funds which enable WIZO to bring in additional funders. 

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 66. Generational Bonding at WIZO Finland Brunch

At WIZO Finland’s first ‘WIZO Bonding Brunch’ 45 grandmothers, mothers and their children enjoyed a delicious brunch, dancing and art in the gardens of the Jewish community centre in Helsinki. In glorious sunshine on the last Sunday in May, this successful and enjoyable event brought women of all generations and their children together in the WIZO spirit of friend raising and awareness for WIZO and the crucial role it plays in Israeli society. 

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67Nahalal Students Show Off their Robotics Projects

Last May, 50 students of WIZO Nahalal's robotics and computer sciences track presented their final projects. The amazing technological output of the students' year-long efforts included a robot that could solve a Rubik's cube, a suitcase that follows its owner using sensors, and much more. They proudly demonstrated their work again to the 2019 MOR participants when they visited Nahalal in January.


68. Nir Ha'Emek's Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program Celebrates End of Year

Nearly 150 children from the age of 6 and up, took part in the special musical event, which marks the end of their program for the year.


69. Leading Experts on Israel-Diaspora Relations Address the 2019 MOR

The 2019 Meeting of Representatives (MOR) guest speakers included: Aryeh Lightstone, Chief of Staff, American Embassy who spoke on America-Israel relations and MK Dr. Michael Oren (pictured), Deputy Minister of Public Diplomacy who delivered the MOR's keynote address entitled, “Israel and the Jews of the Diaspora- What Can We Expect from One Another”.

"Every Jew, anywhere in the world," Dr. Oren said in his speech, "is part of and belongs to Israel!"

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70. Nir Ha'Emek Sudent Beekeepers Represent Israel Abroad

Three "sweet" 16 year-old students (Oren Solomon, Itay Ostreicher and Itamar Shubinsky) from the WIZO Nir Ha'Emek Youth Village in Afula proudly represented Israel in the 9th annual IMYB –International Meeting of Young Beekeepers in Toulouse, France. The three are all studying beekeeping in Nir Ha'Emek's specialized training track which enables them to complete 5 units of matriculation in the bee industry.

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71. One Year Ago: WIZO Salutes Israel at 70

Last year, as the State of Israel celebrated its 70th anniversary, World WIZO shared this special video. WIZO takes pride in the enormous role she has played in providing the groundwork of care and support of Israel's greatest asset – the people. Since 1920, WIZO has embraced, educated and empowered the citizens of Israel and will continue to do so for all of the State of Israel's bright tomorrows. We can all share this pride.