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ZOA Speaker Visits Hebrew Academy


Renowned investigative journalist and author Edwin Black visited the Hebrew Academy this past Monday to discuss the importance of the Balfour Declaration to commemorate its 100 year anniversary.

Black spoke to the Hebrew Academy on a tour with the Zionist Organization of America, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing advocacy and knowledge of Israel to thousands. Ron Ben-Hayoun (12th), one of a handful of seniors actively involved in ZOA, introduced Black.

“We believe that it is essential to understand the facts and the background regarding Israel, its history, and the Middle East,” said Ben-Hayoun. “This is why partnering with our guest speaker today, Edwin Black, is a natural shidduch.”

Black has spent his career in investigative journalism researching and writing prolifically about Israel, its legitimacy, and its relationship to the rest of the world. In light of the Balfour Declaration’s 100th Anniversary this week, Black spoke of the document’s influence and significance in Jewish history.

“The Balfour Declaration, authored near the close of World War I, was, and continually remains, an extremely important document in Jewish political history. In the declaration, Lord Balfour of England sympathizes with ‘Jewish Zionist aspirations,’” said Black. “This would eventually contribute to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. The Declaration’s proceedings recognize the Jewish claim to the land and deems it befitting that the Jews establish ‘a national home.’”

Black further explained that our modern society is too open to too many ideas, to the point where we accept everything as fact. He added that with the Anti-Semitic sentiments that run rampant in our international society, the Jew will never be secure, especially in the Middle East.

“You kids will never see peace in the Middle East in your lifetime,” Black said. “It’ll be far off, but you have to keep fighting because you will, without a doubt, make an impact on and contribute to the achievement of that goal.”  

By: Raquel Zohar (11th Grade)

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