As we enter the new Hebrew year of 5774, we commence with the 36th year of Ariel’s modern history. And we begin to prepare for the next 36 years that lie ahead.
Indeed, the past year was marked with formidable challenges for the City of Ariel. Although we are accustomed to overcoming challenges, the passing of the city’s visionary and founder, Mayor Ron Nachman, was a challenge unlike any we had ever faced. How could we continue? Who would be here to pull us through?
Fortunately, Ron’s greatest success was his ability to outlive himself. The morning after Ron’s funeral the city of Ariel did not come to a standstill. Tens of thousands of residents went to school and headed out to work. The Ariel and Barkan Industrial parks hustled and bustled, with national and international orders to fill. Fourteen thousand students at Ariel University attended classes and invested their collective energies towards earning their degrees. And everyone proceeded with the faith that life would continue to be normal.
And yet, the gift of a city is not to be taken for granted, not in Israel on the whole and certainly not in our historic and strategically paramount land. Although Ron bequeathed a sustainable city to the State of Israel, he left a gaping leadership hole as well. For the past 7 months it has been our call to fill that gap – a challenge that will forever remain the bedrock of our promising future.
It is clear to us today that we have all been called to grow. Here in the city, the people of position work carefully and diligently to learn from Ron’s vision and ensure that Ariel continues to thrive. Our residents, young and old, push forward with new ideas, creative initiatives and responsible service to safeguard all that we have as a substantial foundation for all that will come. And our friends from across the ocean and throughout the world continue to step forward, one at a time, to discover how they can partner with us, as we fill the gap together.
Friends, we have taken your forthcoming participation in all that is and will be Ariel to heart. We are pleased to respond, both with our new Ariel Community Network and our revolutionary Ariel Lifetime Legacy Initiative. Both campaigns will forge and enhance meaningful, practical bonds between the City of Ariel and our growing community of friends. Both will build faith among the residents of Ariel, and manifest lasting friendships between us. Both will enhance the City of Ariel and build community life for the next 36 years of our budding history.
Of course, the number 36 is of great significance according to Jewish tradition. It represents “double Chai”, or “double life”. On the eve of Rosh Hashanah 5774, as the Middle East burns with uncertainty and turmoil, and as clandestine negotiations are held between Israel and those who challenge its sovereignty, we – the people of Israel – pray to be written and sealed in the Book of Life.
The Book of Life has been ours, in the City of Ariel, to celebrate and cherish, though never to be taken for granted. We have been blessed with a double-dose-of-life to date, and we look forward with confidence, eagerness and anticipation towards our next double-life that lies just ahead.
Join us as we enter our 36th year of Ariel, and embark on a journey through our next 36 years, together.
Friends of Ariel