Thursday, June 27, 2013

Peres Presidential Conference -- Day 1 -- Part 1

This marked the second year that I have had the amazing opportunity to attend the Shimon Peres Presidential Conference, which is itself in its 5th year.  Susan and I attended last year, when I received an invitation as President of the Cantors Assembly.  (THIS year, I'm a has-been -- I became Immediate Past President in May -- but managed to get the invitation anyway. . . and my daughter Addie, a graduate student at the University of Haifa, also received an invitation.)

Above, a panel discussion at the opening plenary -- That's Israel Channel 2 Weekend News Anchor Dana Weiss in conversation with. . . Tony Blair, Rahm Emanuel and Shimon Peres (!!).

The Conference took place in Jerusalem at Binyanei Ha-umah, the Jerusalem Convention Center, a venue dating back to the 1950s (though not completed until the '60s) where the World Zionist Congress and other important gatherings take place.  (I got to attend the World Zionist Congress in 2010 -- and one of the thrills for me was sitting down near the front and actually being there when Peres came into the room.  He walked by me -- I don't honestly remember whether I got to shake his hand or not --but it's one of those times in your life when you feel you are close to a great and important person.  It was cool just to make eye contact, and takes me back to when I was a boy and my dad managed to get us in to see Sen. Robert Kennedy.  I remember our taking a picture with him -- with his hand on my head.)

The subject of the opening Plenary was Leadership That Makes A Difference -- and Bill Clinton received the President's Award.  (At last year's conference, that award was presented to Henry Kissinger.)

Some of the things said by the participants follow below. . .

Tony Blair pointed out that the skills to be elected are not necessarily the same skills needed to govern effectively, and that this is making it difficult to have reliable or inspiring leadership in democratic countries.  "Leadership is about taking responsibility when others aren’t ready to.  Taking the heat.
In this part of the world (the Middle East),  leadership is especially tough.  We live in a world of “uniquely low predictability.”

“I’ve learned since leaving office that it’s a lot easier to give the advice than to make the decision.”
"The conventional wisdom of today may turn out to be the foolish idea tomorrow."

In his admiration for President Peres, he quoted him:  “A leader must decide whether he wants to be in the history book or the guest book.”

Blair further said -- The Two State Solution is the solution.  The door won’t be open forever.  A One State Solution is unsustainable.

And finally -- The great divide today is not between the left and right, but between the open mind and the closed mind.

Rahm Emanuel -- formerly of the Obama White House and currently Mayor of Chicago -- spoke next.  

Among his observations -- "I’m proud to have brought my daughter for her bat mitzvah – to meet a man (Peres) who has lived a life worth living – which is a rare thing."

"The first thing I think about in leadership is failure.  Every person in leadership fails sometimes.  Do they learn from their failures?"

"What is the opportunity in every challenge?  Never allow a good crisis to go to waste.  It’s always an opportunity to do the things you thought you couldn’t do before." 

"Change is the only constant.  Nothing stands still.  Can you make the public accept it and welcome it?"

"A leader must convey three things--

"Being Mayor of the city of Chicago is the best job I’ve ever had in public life:  Many countries aren’t functioning effectively.  100 cities are driving the world.  Chicago is one of them and I want to make sure that it will be one of them in the future, too."

Emanuel chose to end his remarks with a baseball metaphor -- acknowledging that it might not have quite the resonance to an Israeli audience as to an American one.  "A leader needs to keep pitching."  In other words, when you're in a jam, if the bases are loaded and you've got a one run lead, you can't win the game by walking away.  You COULD lose -- but you're not going to win without seeing it through.

Shimon Peres (looks great, doesn't he? he's turning 90 in August) spoke next.  I remember at last year's conference, I worked hard to keep up with the wisdom when he spoke.  It was like Kohelet -- the wisdom of Solomon.  He had plenty of wisdom this year too:

I wouldn’t recommend to anyone to follow the leaders of the past.
All known ideologies have opposition.  A new ideology has a chance. . . for a while.
Leaders today should not lead.  They should agree to be led by the people.
                The public squares today are stronger than the camps, the parliaments.

You have to have a majority to do right things.  But you don’t need a majority to do the wrong things.  A small group of people can destroy our lives. 
                2 people can paralyze Boston
                15 people can come to the U.S. and kill thousands of people.

Next. . . Bill Clinton received the President Award.

A moving video was shown of the accomplishments of President Clinton and the depth of his relationship with Rabin, with Peres, with Israel.

It was moving for us -- and it was clearly moving for Clinton as well.

He began by quoting Peres from the Peres Birthday Celebration -- nationally broadcast the evening before:  

"The Two State Solution isn’t a fantasy.  Any other solution is a fantasy.”
 “You became a leader of humanity by inspiring, not imposing.”

(More of Clinton's remarks below. . . )

President Clinton spoke at some length -- movingly, inspiringly.  Some highlights:

"The search for peace isn’t easy in a small time frame.  It is a way of life.  That’s why Shimon Peres has survived 90 years.  He gets up every day and focuses on today and imagines tomorrow and only thinks of yesterday to the extent that it’s relevant."

"In a world of increasing interdependence, we not only have to repair the breach (in tikun olam) but have to expand the definition of that community.  The limitations are many.  We live in a time when old barriers are being torn down and new ones being erected."

"There is a constant struggle to redefine those to whom we feel the obligation of tikun olam. Who’s in our group and who lies outside it?  Should we be trying to put everyone in it?"

President Clinton spoke about his experiences in Rwanda, which he acknowledged as one of the biggest mistakes of his Presidency -- not seeing what was happening there fast enough, not reacting strongly enough, not doing enough.  He has focused a lot of effort SINCE his Presidency on working with Rwandans as they carry their country forward.

"One of the greatest examples of overcoming past conflict is represented here by the President and 1st Lady of Rwanda – also one of the greatest examples of my neglect as President.  In Rwanda, 10% of the country was slaughtered in 90 days.  I went to Rwanda in 1998 and publicly apologized for the US not having acted better sooner.  In 2001, I saw a stunning example of what the President of Rwanda accomplished in changing the us/them dichotomy.  The press sought to find people who said “What’s Clinton doing here?  He screwed up?”  A Rwandan cab driver said to a reporter “I’m GLAD he (Clinton) is here.  Nobody came to help us and he’s the only one who said he’s sorry.  He didn’t make us kill each other.  We had to assume some responsibility for that.  And as our President keeps telling us, we need all the help we can get.”

"Every one of us will face challenges and we won’t meet them all.  The lesson of President Peres’ life is to get up and go on."

"It’s nice to receive an award.  It's nice for a country to have its monuments.  But there are no final victories, perfect warriors for peace, flawless leaders.  Every day inside every person the battle begins as the morning breaks.  Every one of us when we wake in the morning has inside a scale.  Hopes and dreams vs. fears and resentments, angers and disappointments.  Every day when we get up, the balance between the bright side and the dark side is a little difference, isn’t it? 

"We HAVE to let go.  We need to expand the us and shrink the them.  We don’t get to stop.  We have to show up and go on.

"The most moving person I met when I went back to Rwanda and met victims of the genocide.. . . she screamed to God in anger when she was spared after the murder of her husband and 6 children.  But she decided their MUST be a reason.  So she ran an orphanage.  

"On a subsequent trip, I met a young man who guided me around, showing me the progress in institutions and national reconciliation.  73 people in his family had been killed, but he felt that showing me all the good things was therapeutic.  When I told him about the woman I met who had inspired me on the previous trip, it turned out it was his aunt."

"Now. . . as to the Palestinians. . . there are lots of reasons you can’t move forward.  The one thing I know is. . . the lesson that has been driven home. . . and I can give you 100 examples. . . If you are compelled to share the future, you have to decide what the sharing’s going to be.  If it’s too much for you and not enough for them, there will always be scales to correct.  There’s no perfect answer.  There is simply the perfect obligation to expand the definition of us and shrink the definition of them.  I ask you to think about that."

"In Rwanda, I learned that the answer to "Hello Good Morning How Are You" is "I See You."  President Peres always tries to see everyone. All the people that we sometimes don’t see are going to be part of our future.  We must strive to expand the definition of us and reduce the definition of them.

Israel should always be seen in a state of BECOMING. . .The whole region can be in a state of BECOMING.

Do you have to be strong and defend?  Yes.  But in the end we will be judged whether we expanding the definition of us and shrinking the definition of them.

Stay on the path.  Keep looking.  Keep working.

It was worth it going to Israel JUST for the Opening Plenary.  There was much more -- and I'll write about it subsequently.  

But I hope that you'll join Bill and Shimon and me in trying to make the world more us and less them -- in continuing to move forward to achieve the possible in the face of too many people declaring the necessary to be IMpossible.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Before the Conference

In the days before attending the Peres Conference, I had an opportunity for a beautiful Shabbat with the Zada family -- the family of Addie's fiance -- in Jerusalem.

Here are Addie and Sahar's mom and sister in the Zadas' Jerusalem home -- enjoying videos of Ben and Aliza's wedding 2 years ago -- serving as a bit of a preview of Addie and Sahar's wedding next summer.

Here is the Shabbat table a few hours before the beautiful Shabbat we spent together.

We enjoyed blending their Sephardic customs (the Zadas are original from Iran or Persia, depending on how you'd like to describe it) with a few of our Ashkenazic ones.

What a wonderful family!  I'm so grateful that they have taken Addie in like their own  -- adding her to the mix of their family of a son and 3 daughters.

We enjoyed Shabbat at home and in schul together.  Avi (Sahar's dad) was very generous and purchased the Maftir aliyah for me (a complete surprise to me), so I had the honor of chanting the haftarah.  (In Sephardic congregations, it is a widespread custom to auction the aliyot on Shabbat morning just before the Torah reading.)  I was a bit nervous about how my Sephardic hosts would feel about a decidedly Ashkenazic chanting, but it was very well received.

Just a great Shabbat from start to finish!

On Sunday, I accompanied Addie to a full day of classes at the University of Haifa.  She is in a Masters Program in Holocaust Studies.  I attended German class, as well as a number of seminar-style classes later in the day -- including the showing of a fascinating movie "A Film Unfinished."  I had read about this movie in the New York Times (and probably the Forward as well) but hadn't had a chance to see it when it briefly was shown in Columbus.  The class viewed the film and then had the opportunity to discuss it with one of its producer -- prominent in the Israel film industry.

The film  stemmed from the discovery in German film archives of 60 minutes of film from the Warsaw ghetto.  Some of this footage is very familiar: Most of the readers of my blog can probably picture scenes of "rich and poor in the Warsaw Ghetto."  As it turns out, this footage was prepared by the Nazis for some not-entirely-clear propaganda purpose.  I say "not-entirely-clear" because a final film was never prepared.  It seems obvious that it was designed to show that one brand of Jew cared little about another.  One of the creepiest aspects of the film is the discovery of outtakes -- so that you get to see some of these familiar scenes repeated several times over.

A number of survivors of the Ghetto watch the film "along with the viewer."  For them, the places are familiar -- and so are some of the faces and personalities.  The other witness who watches the film along with you?  One of the Germans who filmed it.  It was serendipitous that the filmmaker was able to identify this person and through a great deal of work and patience able to reach him and engage him in conversation.

A very haunting film.  Difficult to watch.  More difficult not to watch.  88 minutes that seemed much longer -- not because of defects in the film -- but because you are watching a lot of difficult things and it seems that it is your human obligation as a witness and out of respect to those who were subjected to the ghetto and the filming to watch.

When we returned to Jerusalem on Tuesday, we had an appointment with Nefesh b'Nefesh, the organization that facilitates aliyah (becoming a citizen of the State of Israel) especially for English speakers and North American Jewry.  This is a big step for Addie (for anyone of course).  It was nice that, as it turned out, the person who worked with us was the daughter of someone we know from Columbus.  Such a small world. . .

As of last Tuesday, she has made application for aliyah.  Here I am with Sarah, the daughter of Rochelle and Henoch Millen of Columbus.


Monday, June 17, 2013

A Few Days in Israel (Part 1)

As I write, I'm sitting comfortably in my daughter's Haifa apartment.  It's Monday.  I've been here in Israel since Wednesday (really, is that possible?)

Yesterday we went to her classes at the University of Haifa, where she is pursuing a Masters in Holocaust Studies.

This meant a German class, plus a number of classes related to Holocaust narratives, historiography, etc.  The last class was mostly a showing of a film that I had read a lot about in the U.S. but not had an opportunity to see -- "A Film Unfinished."

More about that later.

Back to the beginning of the trip, I flew from Newark to Tel Aviv on United -- a decidedly less Jewish flight than an El Al flight, especially perhaps at this time of year when many tourists are headed for the Holy Land.
To my left, a woman joining a Christian tour run by Ayelet Tours -- so I could assure her how great it would be, how professional they are, how experienced, how I know so many people who work at Ayelet, and how I have worked with their top people for many years (because Ayelet has managed so many trips and conventions for the Cantors Assembly and other American Jewish organizations).  To my right, a young Muslim woman from a midwestern city.  Yes, a Jew, a Muslim, and a Christian fly together to Israel, and. . .

It was interesting how my conversation unfolded with the young Muslim woman.  I asked where she was going in Israel (I may not have said "in Israel.")  She said "the West Bank."  I thought to myself, if this was a Jewish person, would she call it the West Bank?

Little by little, I drew out her story -- trying to find the right balance between being overly inquisitive and having a substantive conversation between two people who might not ordinarily HAVE such a conversation. It turns out that she was born in the U.S.  Her parents were born in what she would call Palestine.  She has family on both sides of the ocean.  She has spent a fair amount of time with her family near Ramallah.  She speaks Arabic.  She is a practicing Muslim.  I think she was about 29, if I recall, a graduate of one of the universities in her city.   Which means that she grew up having to explain Islam to many non-Muslims in her life -- at a time that it was quite complicated in this country, because of 9/11.  It makes me think a little about Jewish kids who grow up in mostly non-Jewish communities and have to explain about Jews, Judaism and Israel -- often beyond their own understanding.  At the same time that many Americans have grown fearful of Muslims, it has been a difficult and frightening time to be a Muslim the U.S. -- blamed for things that you had nothing to do with and WOULD have nothing to do with.

I wondered about what it would be like for me to visit her neighborhood near Ramallah -- whether I could.  I asked her about her freedom to come and go from the West Bank -- and she indicated that as an American citizen it makes it easier, but she does have to endure the difficulties of going from one side of that border to the other.  It seems that I probably COULDN'T go where she does without special permission or arrangements.  And would I feel welcome there?  That's a whole other question.

I imagined, and we talked a little, about what it might be like to be able to take trips with young people of the different traditions and experiences together.  (Or not-so-young people.)  I've been to Israel many times -- but I wonder every time (now) what it would look like from a Christian or Muslim perspective.    We're fortunate, in Columbus (my home), to have warm interfaith relations, and to work together with Christians and Muslims in areas of common interest, especially through the BREAD Organization (Building Responsibility, Equality And Dignity).  The folks from the Islamic Center a few doors down from the synagogue fill up our parking lot on Friday afternoons for an hour or two when they come for Friday prayers.  I smile at them, but never have engaged in the kind of conversation I had with my neighbor on the airplane.

Jump a day ahead to Thursday and my daughter and I are visiting various spots in Haifa -- including its most famous attraction the Baha'i Gardens.  On this day, the Gardens are being visited by many Arab children and women.

When the Arab kids see my daughter and me, they assume that we are Israeli and they try out (very) little Hebrew on us. . .SHA-LOM a few of the boys snicker and giggle as we pass them by.  Haifa may be one of the few places in Israel where this sort of interaction takes place.  It FELT like these children didn't see Israelis very often -- but there we were, and there they were and they thought it was fun to talk to us -- a little.  Haifa is one of the most mixed areas in the entire country -- although it IS 90% Jewish.

Haifa is a city in which Jews and Arabs go to University in the same place, eat in the same place, shop in the same place.  For some people, there are interactions between Jewish and Arab neighbors.  For others, there is none.  In time, there will probably be more.  This is especially clear from looking at the faces and "costumes" on campus.  It is a place of different languages and cultures, where people exist side-by-side and interact.  A place where a covered Muslim woman receives a University education. In Israel.

Back to my seatmate -- we explored a little politics, without getting too deeply into it, and then talked some sports.  She is a big supporter of her local baseball team -- which means that we have some common enemies, but mostly root against each other.  She's also pretty into other professional sports teams in her city.  This was a refreshing corner of the conversation.

I'm pushing pretty hard to try to move forward to the establishment of that Palestinian State that is to her a necessity.  (She says that the community she is visiting is in Palestine.)   My work with J Street is all about that Two State Solution that we feel is necessary for the brightest possible future of Israel.   It strikes me as the only just path forward, yet it is a frightening one for us.

In conclusion. . . no conclusion.  Some of the roads ahead are difficult to map.  But I want to continue to try to map them, and to demand of our leaders that they do the same.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Running Into Friends--What We Do In Israel

I SHOULD have really taken the train from Ben Gurion Airport to Haifa for my visit with my daughter and her fiance.  Since I've always been headed for Jerusalem, I never really knew about the apparently very convenient rail link right at the airport, which would have been WAY easier than the arduous rent-a-car drive  along with late afternoon traffic in and out of Tel Aviv.

But to the list of b'sheret (fated) moments, you can add my encounter with my dear friend Avi Kagan, pictured above, which wouldn't have happened if I did the smarter, easier thing.

After a really long departure from the airport because of confusion at the rent-a-car company (don't ask), I was feeling kind of sleepy/hungry so I stopped at a cafe just off the road in Netanya.  Imagine my surprise--and Avi's--when he saw me coming in the door.  In fact, I tripped on my way in the door and fell into his outstretched arms.

Avi was Columbus' community sheliach a few years ago -- and one of a number of our sh'lichim with whom I keep in touch.  I had sent him an e-mail just before I left the US -- saying maybe we can see each other when I'm Israel.  (Did I say "bump into each other?")

He had actually just sent me an e-mail reply. . . when I appeared right in front of him.

Eventually I arrived in Haifa (last night) -- and Addie and I spent today enjoying some special time and Haifa sites -- the world-famous Baha'i Gardens, a very unusual display of "outsider art" at the Haifa Museum of Art, and some strolling and dining.

To Jerusalem tomorrow for Shabbat -- and looking forward to the amazing Peres Presidential Conference next week.

But that's just a little vignette for today.  (Of course, one COULD wonder. . . who might I have met on the train?!)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

At the moment, I'm preparing for a trip to Israel. . . leaving tonight.  Next week, I'll be attending the Shimon Peres Presidential Conference in Jerusalem -- an amazing gathering about which I'll write more when it happens.  THIS week, I'll be visiting with my daughter Audrey and her fiance, Sahar -- starting in Haifa.  Below, I'm sharing the remarks I gave last week at the Honorary Doctorate Convocation for about 25 cantorial colleagues, held at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. . . 

Remarks delivered at Honorary PhD Convocation – June 6, 2013
Cantor Jack Chomsky

What an amazing honor to stand here at this moment—to have been honored in this way at this institution, along with such a fabulous group of colleagues.

As the President of the Cantors Assembly at the time this event was originally scheduled to take place, I have the honor of expressing gratitude and sharing some thoughts on behalf of my colleagues honored today.

Of course, we are mindful of the thousands of lives displaced by the massive hurricane last October.  I grew up on Long Island and I know the geography and the feel of those autumn hurricanes.  But I can’t imagine the devastation of this one, even having seen the pictures.  We salute New Yorkers and all those in the areas affected by the storm, and hope they have received and will continue to receive what they need to be sustained and to flourish again.

I am grateful that members of the Cantors Assembly can be honored at today’s Convocation.  It is something that our leaders worked hard for—and I want to pay special tribute and appreciation to Sam Rosenbaum z’l and Steve Stein for all their efforts to make days like this a reality.

The custom among our rabbinic colleagues is to provide this honor to individuals who have been in the profession for 25 years.  Because there was such a “backlog” of colleagues who had not yet been honored, it has been necessary for us, until now, to honor hazzanim who have been at work considerably longer.  A particular downside of that is that some of our colleagues were really too old by the time the Seminary was ready to bestow this honor to receive this honor effectively.

We are now down to about 30 years—and perhaps next time we will arrive at 25. 

I am pretty certain that this is the last time that all the honorees will be men.  That fact does bracket our careers in a certain way:  When I was in cantorial school at JTS in the early 1980s, women could not receive the diploma of hazzan or formally enroll in the cantorial school.  Instead, they needed to be students in the Seminary College of Jewish Music.  The spring of my first year in the school, I did a survey at the Cantors Assembly Convention and found that the majority of members understood that women were on the way into the profession and the organization.  More welcomed it than didn’t.

Now, of course, the school’s director is a woman—Nancy Abramson—and as of 2 weeks ago – serves as President of the Cantors Assembly.    Where once upon a time we wondered if women would be included in the profession, today we sense their absence among the honorees, but know that here, only time holds them back.  That’s progress, although we have seen that we have many more miles to go in Eretz Yisrael in the acceptance of women in religious roles.

When I entered JTS, Morton Waldman was Dean of the Cantors Institute.  During my first year at the school, he died tragically, and was replaced by Rabbi Morton Leifman, a mentor (along with Rabbi Waldman) for many of us.  We are proud of the hazzanim who followed him into leadership of the Cantorial School—Henry Rosenblum and Robert Kieval, both of whom have deservedly received this honor previously—and now Nancy.

I want to express my personal appreciation to Chancellor Eisen for being with us here today, for his inspiring words, and for presiding over the remarkable transformation of this institution.  JTS as I remember it was a great place to learn about Jewish tradition, but not necessarily a great place to connect with the vitality of contemporary Jewish life or a sense of expanding community. 

I believe that hazzanim, by the nature of our place in hopeful equilibrium between the kahal (congregation) and the Creator, are particularly connected to the emotional side of things in a way that wasn’t typical of the Seminary.  I want to credit Henry Rosenblum for bringing a great deal of personal passion and warmth on our behalf into this place.  That spirit is now, through the work of others, beginning to pervade the institution.

As to those who receive this honor today. . . WOW!  During the run up to the initially planned October Convocation, I asked them about some of their accomplishments, their mentors and their hopes.  WOW!

As you may have heard in their citations, those honored today have written symphonies and operas, performed all over the world in every conceivable venue, taught thousands of students for b’nei mitzvah, opened their homes to create Jewish lives, created opportunities for people of all abilities to participate in Jewish life, served as diplomats for Jewish music, culture and religion in Israel, Poland, Germany and elsewhere, commissioned hundreds of musical works, published music for hundreds of colleagues featuring music written by dozens of colleagues, produced CDs distributed to hundreds of thousands of people around the U.S. and elsewhere featuring dozens of colleagues and teaching about all kinds of Jewish music, prayed for and with military men and women around the world, served as chaplains in nursing homes, performed thousands of brisses (OK—not too many of us have done the briss thing, but a few of us have done lots of them!), attended the finest music schools, JTS and other cantorial schools, been heard in outer space, served as Rabbis in multiple congregations, and so much more. . .

We couldn’t have done all this work without the patient and selfless support of our wives, children, parents, rabbinic and other colleagues, and the generosity of our congregations and communities.  But let me say again first and foremost—our wives.  As noted previously, this is the last time it will be ONLY wives.  To be the spouse of a clergyman is NOT a simple matter.  It brings some benefits and many challenges.  Thank you, ladies, for bringing us to this day.

Our teachers and mentors included, among others, Max Wohlberg, Dr. Albert Weisser, David Tilman, Faith Steinsnyder, Dr. Johanna Spector, Noach Schall, Bernard Saitz, Shlomo Ravitz, Dov Propis, Shayna Postman, Moshe Nathanson, Louis Moss, Sol Mendelson, Joe Levine, Mati Lazar, David Kusevitzky, Sholom Katz, Jack Goldstein, Charles Davidson, Louis Danto, Ben Belfer, Zvee Aroni, Chaim Adler and each other.

We remember colleagues who should have been here with us today, but died too soon—like Sam Pessaroff and Stephen Merkel—and, I am sure, others.

I am personally grateful to Hazzan Ivan Perlman, in whose choir I sang at Temple Emanu-El in Providence, Rhode Island, who showed me what a hazzan could be and propelled me along the path to and through this profession.

One colleague suggested that I should mention that Ordination is in order.  That, to this day, the graduates of JTS’ Miller School are considered invested—but not ordained, as they now are at other cantorial schools. 

This distinction never mattered to me.  My cantorial and rabbinic colleagues know that I have always acted like an equal partner, and have allowed me this parity at every turn.  But the point is a good one.  And as we look forward to including women among those honored next time around, perhaps we can also look forward to this change in the trajectory of the graduates of this institution. 

Failure to do so frankly makes it more difficult for JTS’ program to compete with the other programs available to aspiring cantors.

But that is mostly a discussion for another time and place—or at least another time in this place!

Back to my colleagues being honored today.  We’ve been at it for at least 30 years.  I don’t know that any of us has 30 years left—but it is clear that many of us will still be continuing our efforts for many years to come.

We all thank you all for this day that we will remember every day for the rest of our lives.