My Friend Ish

The impetus for this journey began when I met Ishmael Khaldi, Vice Counsel for the Israel Consulate in San Francisco (covering the Northwest US) at Gina and Dan Waldman’s house in Tiburon. We spoke about blogging and began to develop the idea of bringing well-known bloggers to Israel to report on Israel Innovation.

Over the course of a year we struggled through many setbacks and delays, but remained resolute together. Once the trip was approved by the Foreign Ministry Office in Jerusalem, we spoke daily for months to hammer out the details. In Israel, we became like a pair of Kayakers paddling together over many rapids—hey, these are Bay Area metaphors—we came to trust, respect, and count on each other.

In addition to our close association and friendship, Ish has given me a great gift of understanding something important about Israel that eluded me during many past visits for Jewish organizations and activities. Israel is a pluralistic society and its non-Jewish citizens compose a critical element—Israel will succeed and be secure to the degree they feel at home there living as citizens with Jews—they can be the best ambassadors of Israel’s justice and vision. I came to understand that perspective through his love for Israel from my friend Ish.

I will always be grateful.

(Photos of us will be posted)

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