Approximately 350 people from across the Greater Washington area defied predictions of snow to converge on the JCC of Northern Virginia on March 3 for the annual Jewish National Fund (JNF) Breakfast for Israel. This year’s featured speaker was Ari Sacher, the primary engineer responsible for the creation of the Iron Dome system deployed by the Israel Defense Forces to protect against rocket attacks.
The program also included a delicious kosher breakfast; Torah insights from Rabbi Steven Rein of Agudas Achim Congregation in Alexandria; and a personal account from Caravan for Democracy alum Tremayne Smith, who talked about his Israel advocacy journey as a young Christian African American Zionist.
With over 20 years of experience in missile design and development, Sacher has briefed hundreds of U.S. Congressmen on Israeli missile defense, but promotional materials for the breakfast gave no hint about Sacher’s comedic chops. His explanations of the complex rocket science behind Israel’s defense capabilities were interwoven with jokes about family politics and distinctly Israeli self-deprecating humor, making his speech strike a wonderful balance between highly informational and wildly entertaining. His spirited delivery underscored the verve and will of a people continuing to live life in the midst of daily attacks.
By Rachel Kohn
Rachel Kohn is editor in chief of Kol HaBirah.