Yom Ha'Atzmaut 14th May 2024

Dear Friends,


It'll be no surprise if this year our thoughts on Yom Ha'atzma'ut are tinged with worry and concern, rather than the purely happy celebration most of us usually feel at this time.


But we should not forget that all that made us proud of Israel still pertains. It was indeed a miraculous rebirth, an exemplary inclusion of huge numbers of refugees and remains a wonderfully argumentative democracy, as well as a powerhouse of new Jewish thought and activity.


Despite the fact that it is currently embattled, we should not forget the many friends and admirers that Israel has won and retains all around the world. Nor should we forget that, despite all the performative realpolitik that so many countries and their leaders have felt it necessary to engage in, there is little doubt in the West at least, but also in so many countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas and the Middle East that Israel's enemies are a barbaric blot upon the world and no peace can be found until at least all the hostages have been released and ideally none of the current mob have any positions of power in the world.


The Jews though are still here because of our resilience and our determination to celebrate our good fortune, remember our friends, be grateful for them and share our wisdoms and capacities. Nothing has happened that has changed that millennia old formula.


As you'll know, Israel precedes its Independence Day with a day of memorial for its fallen soldiers - Yom Hazikaron - and this year the country must be in still deeper mourning than usual given the huge number of soldiers who have fallen in the current war. These soldiers are our family too, as are the 130 or so hostages still being held in who-knows-what-circumstances in Gaza in contravention of every rule and law in international affairs. So our sadness will be heightened and sharpened.


But then don't forget to celebrate too - dance and sing! Israel is still remarkable and still a beacon to the world in so many ways. Of course, like any 'real-world' thing, it's not perfect and we can no doubt all of us sometimes think of ways we might do things differently if we were in charge(!), but an Independence Day is not the occasion to dwell on that. This is a day to celebrate the creation of Israel (by the United Nations as well as its pioneers), the continuing and burgeoning fact of Israel and its continued thriving.


Yom Ha'atzam'ut sameakh to you all from the Commonwealth Jewish Council, and here's to the swift and safe release of all remaining hostages and the return of peace speedily to the area.


Mazeltov to all of us!


Clive Lawton OBE JP


Holocaust Refugees in Mauritius

The Mauritius community has created a video about Holocaust refugees arriving in Mauritius and the subsequent history of the community.

Welcome to our Newest Members

Our Newest Members

Lord Mendelsohn, President, and the Vice-Presidents of the Commonwealth Jewish Council are delighted to announce that Jewish communities in Cameroon, Grand Cayman, Grenada, Guernsey have recently affiliated to the CJC. 

The CJC is a growing, vibrant family and we are proud to be represented across even more of the Commonwealth. We will continue to advocate on behalf of all of our communities, and on issues affecting us all.