Liberating Vermont

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Vermont is definitely a state I won’t forget…

The most liberal state in the Union sure has some magic; From meeting some local entrepreneurs such as the talented David Melech Hat Company who creates amazing Fedora hats (and actually started his business thanks to Wix), to learning about a new farm-centered Jewish community being established in Vermont called Living Tree Alliance, to participating in a hippie, earth-centered retreat in Garden Of Earthly Delights! A magickal weekend at Shady Lady, and even the ability to drive completely naked (yes, it’s all on film) makes this state in the eyes of many Americans “The best State in the Country”.

But with all the good and beauty The Green Mountain State offers, there’s some things that really disturbed me. Like the fact that Jewish people in Montpelier (the State capital) were very afraid of coming to an Israel supporting event, because they thought they might be bullied or bashed for taking part in such event. Or the fact that various synagogues must have a committee approval before presenting anything that is related to Israel, from a fear of a potential backlash, is a serious warning sign that we can’t ignore!

Less than a century ago these same voices were heard and same concerns of Jews living in Europe was being felt. We all know how that ended up…

We must push for more positive education and branding on the one hand, and as hard and far fetched as it sounds, a solution with our Palestinian neighbors on the other. Otherwise, the voices we hear in Vermont and the separation between the American Jews and those in Israel will only get bigger. And that, we just can’t afford happening.   

Lior Vaknin

P.S
Make sure you don’t miss Arantha’s song at the end of this vlog. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

 

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