I’ve been privileged to hear from great speakers on Israel and Jewish issues for many years. Listening to Avital Sharansky speak in 1984 about her husband Natan (then Anatoly) imprisoned in the Soviet Gulag got me started on a lifetime of activism and advocacy in the Jewish world. I’ve listened to Presidents and Prime Ministers, to actors, authors, and artists, to Rabbis and Representatives, to Generals and Corporals, to student leaders and Holocaust survivors. I’ve had occasion to get to know many of them.
There is something amazing about a good speaker. This individual is a subject matter expert; most often engaging, humorous, friendly. What draws me most of all is someone who is passionate, inspired AND inspiring. Someone who can change the world, in big or small ways, and is generous in sharing that mission with those who would listen.
On June 19th, such a person is coming to Rockland. Arizona State Representative Alma Hernandez is our featured speaker at Federation’s Annual General Meeting, 7 PM at the Rockland Jewish Community Campus, 450 West Nyack Rd. If you want to be inspired, you need to be there! Register here. Admission is free.
Alma is a very active member of the Jewish community. She serves as a board member of the Democratic Majority for Israel, as well as the board of her local JFS and synagogue. She is a proud Zionist and activist for Israel on the national stage, and she is a voice that cannot be silenced in confronting antisemitism. In 2021, overcoming considerable resistance, her bill was signed into law requiring students to receive mandatory instruction on the Holocaust. She spoke out and drew national attention to antisemitic acts committed against a local Tucson Chabad Center.
Alma is accomplished academically and professionally. She has a BA & MPH from the University of Arizona; an MLS, with additional studies at Johns Hopkins. And she is currently pursuing a law degree. Before being elected, Representative Hernandez worked at the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona & Tucson JCC. She has worked on various issues related to healthcare policy, criminal justice reform, and education.
Alma was recently named one of Forward’s 50 most influential Jews and was listed on the J100 list of the top 100 positive influencers by The Algemeiner.
Tell your friends, and share the link in this newsletter. If you’ve been reading my articles for the last year, and you are wondering what inspires me, it is people like Alma and the commitment they have to the Jewish people. You don’t want to miss this event!