My wife and I are relatively new residents at Protea Hills, having made aliyah from Staten Island, New York City, on August 3, 2016. We are very appreciative of the warm welcome we have received from so many of you and look forward to meeting many more of you in the near future.
Besides our love and support for Israel, a major reason we made aliyah is we have two very supportive, loving daughters living in Israel, Susan in Ma’alei Adumim and Devorah in Beit Shemesh, and they, along with their wonderful husbands and our fabulous grandchildren, increasingly urged my wife and me to join them here. While I, at 82 years, and my wife, at 81 years, are in relatively good health, baruch Hashem, one never knows what the future has in store for us, and we recognized that they were right in urging to be near them in our golden years.
Of course another major factor in our decision to make aliyah is to live at the wonderful Protea Hills, with its many great features, especially the swimming pool which I try to use almost daily for a workout.
An additional major draw is that I have long been an activist, promoting mainly vegetarianism, animal rights, environmental activism, and other positive causes, and there is no better place than Israel to be an activist, since within such a relatively small country there are so many synagogues, schools, and other centers of Jewish learning and involvement. I am the author of three Judaica books, Judaism and Vegetarianism (3 editions), Judaism and Global Survival (2 editions), and most recently, a second edition of Who Stole My Religion? Revitalizing Judaism and Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal Our Imperiled Planet. I also have over 200 articles and 25 podcasts of my talks and interviews at www.JewishVeg.com/schwartz.
In addition I am the assistant producer of the one-hour acclaimed documentary, A Sacred Duty: Applying Jewish Values to Help heal Our Imperiled Planet. I often give talks on the issues in my books and articles and have taken part in two speaking tours during previous trips to visit family in Israel.
I look forward to sharing some of my ideas and starting respectful dialogues at Protea Hills. If you are interested in working on this with me, please call me at 1302 or email me at VeggieRich@gmail.com.
(This article was recently published in the Protea Hills magazine.)