Tonight I delivered my final session in Malmo (Sweden) alongside Avigayle Adler as part of the OTS Amiel BaKehila delegation to Scandinavia.
Having travelled from Copenhagen this afternoon, we were met in Malmo station by Rabbi Moshe David HaCohen and as we walked towards the community centre, we heard about the opportunities, and challenges, facing this special community.
When we arrived at the community centre, we met members of the community who were there to collect some basic Pesach foods which are now being sold through the community centre, and this was followed by a fabulous art activity for children led by Avigayle.
Soon after we popped out to visit the stunning synagogue and heard about its history, and we then returned to the community centre for a further art activity for adults which was then followed by my presentation titled, ‘Serving God Together: The Making of the Unified Haggadah’ where I told the story of Rav Goren’s Nusach Achid Haggadah and made a number of remarks about cohesion and unity in Jewish communities and in wider society. We ended the evening with a panel discussion addressing how we can achieve unity while celebrating diversity.
It has been an incredible privilege to spend the past week visiting and learning from the Helsinki, Oslo, Copenhagen and Malmo communities, while also sharing Torah ideas and connecting with so many wonderful people. In truth, it is impossible to put into words my admiration for the many wonderful leaders and community volunteers who we have met, and I thank each and every one of them for their kindness, hospitality, and for teaching me so much about their special communities.
Lieutenant Colonel (Reserves) Jordan Herzberg has been active in diplomacy, security, political and business affairs in Israel for over 20 years. Serving as a track two diplomat for several Israeli Prime Ministers, Jordan participated in hundreds of hours of back channel negotiations with neighboring Arab heads of state, and has advised several Israeli government ministers.
Volunteering as a lone soldier in the Israel Defense Forces Paratrooper Brigade, Jordan served in several different combat theaters, including extensive military service in Lebanon and Judea/Samaria. Jordan currently serves as a commander in a combined paratroop/infantry/armored división. He also served as Chairman of Mechinat Lachish Meitarim, one of Israel’s largest gap year programs for young men and women, secular and observant, and is on the board of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies.
The president of Israel Security Tours, Jordan has a BA with Honors in Political Science and Judaic Studies from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, including studies at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and Harvard Business School.
He made Aliyah in 1993 from the United States, and lives with his family in Jerusalem.
Erez Zadok is a a freelance cartoonist, comics artist, illustrator and character designer living in Netanya. A top graduate of the renowned Bezalel Academy of Art in Jerusalem, Erez recently completed drawing the Passover Hagadah Graphic Novel, designed around the actual text of the Passover Hagadah. He has drawn numerous comic books and graphic novels, including the 3 o’clock Club and Bundle of Joya. You can follow Erez’s work on Instagram.