Celebrating 50 Years of German-Israeli Diplomatic Relations

Over 1,100 guests attended the Naturally for Israel convention, which featured a day of lectures on Israeli-German politics, culture, religion and environment in three different halls. In addition, over 40 exhibitors presented their Israel-German-related businesses and organisations at the venue. The exhibition displayed a colourful picture of Israeli and Jewish life in Germany. Singer and actor Moshe Becker charmed the visitors with his Israeli cabaret for which he had prepared a one-hour German-English show with wonderful words and uplifting music. He had also produced a heart-warming film on 50 years of JNF-KKL Germany support which had its debut at the conference.

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KKL-JNF World President Efi Stenzler opened the event with the words: „Outside it is cold, but here inside it is very, very warm!“ One visitor made a very apt comment about the event: „It is like visiting Israel for a day.“

Israel´s Consul General Dr. Dan Shaham arrived directly from the Security Conference in Munich to discuss successful economic relationships between Israel and Germany.

Well known historian Professor Michael Wolffsohn gave a critical political analysis of the past 50 years. In his opinion, the two countries both learned from the horrid past to say „Never again“ – but for Israelis this means never again to be victims. For Germans, this means never again to apply violence. Thus many misunderstandings arise today.

Israeli Professor Alean Al-Krenawi, president of Achva College, reported on Bedouin society in Israel which today constitutes about 30% of the population in the Negev.

Major General (Res.) Doron Almog spoke about his impressive past as a high ranking member of the Israeli military, but he also gave very touching personal insights. For his handicapped son Eran he founded ADI Negev, a highly esteemed rehabilitative village which provides one of a kind medical and social services to the handicapped. JNF-KKL Germany has committed to build a special therapeutic garden for the premises. 

A raffle was also held to raise money for the ADI Negev therapeutic garden project, with two El Al flight tickets to Israel as a prize.

A concert by three cantors singing Shabbat songs set the impressive end to an exciting day which was all for Israel, for mutual understanding and for raising awareness of KKL-JNF´s various activities

Article appeared in The Jerusalem Post (www.jpost.com) on Feb. 25, 2015