Migdal Ohr Annual Gala (Full transcript of Speech)
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Shalom and thank-you for your kind welcome this evening.
On behalf of the State of Israel, please allow me to extend my warmest greetings to the Montreal board of directors and supporters of Canadian Friends of Midgal Ohr on the occasion of their annual gala.
It is an honor for me to be among so many devot ed men and women who so generously give of their time, money, and energy, without hesitation, to ensure the welfare of our brothers and sisters in Israel.
I have to reveal to you that these remarks took an inordinately long time to write: You see what was meant to be a quick Google search about the institution left me reading testimonies brimming with praise all afternoon long- in absolute wonderment.
Migdal Ohr, under the leadership and vision of the Israel Prize laureate, Rabbi Yitzhak Dovid Grossman, has worked in parallel with the Israeli government to provide education, support and guidance to those in need, on every level of society.
In 1972, its inaugural class was composed of 18 students… and if you ask me that number is no coincidence, because true to its gematria value, it blew life into Migdal Haemek, an otherwise disenfranchised area of Israel.
Since then, over 15,000 youth, victim to abuse, neglect and poverty have benefitted from Migdal Ohr’s many and diverse programs to go on to be proud and contributing members of Israeli society. Most notably, a minister in Israel’s very own parliament.
An institution has never lived up to its nomenclature so completely: Migdal Ohr, tower of light in Hebrew, has shone down upon those who have suffered from darkness and illuminated their path to rise above.
Ohr, light, as you may already know, is very symbolic in Judaism. It is the link between the divine and human realms. Kabbalistically, it is identified with the Shekinah, God’s feminine presence. It represents protection and the strength of the Jewish spirit.