We are on a 3-week tour of work and a bit of relaxation here, beginning with a week in Tel Aviv.
The first thing that hit both of us is the pace of life here, and how vibrant, exciting and alive the city of Tel Aviv is. In some ways it is a huge city much like others in every other part of the world…but what really overwhelmes you is how young it is here, and how there is almost an underground rhythm of growth, movement, yearning to be better, to excel and to modernize in a country grounded in history and ancient civilization. You really feel the pulse of excitement as you witness the growth, and it’s a “join in or move over” attitude…there is no being passive here or I think you will get run over!
And the women…the words confident, assertive and strong don’t even begin to describe the young women. A few nights ago we were having dinner and a group of young soldiers came into the restaurant. There were about 10 of them, the majority female. As they all went to put their machine guns up against the wall behind their table, it struck me how equal they all appeared to be. So, I began to question my 27 year old nephew and his friends about their thoughts on women here… I was greatly pleased at the respect I heard. More importantly for me, though, was that for this generation of young Israelis, there really isn’t a “gender gap.” They served next to women in the military and military service is obligatory for every girl 18-20 just as it is for every boy. They compete for jobs with women at the same level and expect to have women as their superiors and partners throughout their lives. They expect and want women in government and every part of life…it was a non-issue for them.
Of course problems exist here as they do in every other country, but it has been refreshing and energizing to experience this first hand.
With that said, don’t forget about our main fund raiser of the year Perfect Pairings…the money we raise helps move us further towards our own goals! Let’s make this the most successful one yet!
Hope to see you all at the April meeting,
Co-President Jody Valdes