By J. Kott-Wolle
Oil on Canvas, 28x30, painted 2017
Original photograph taken - 1978
I’ll never forget the first time my parents went to Israel. It was monumental because they had never gone on a real vacation before. I remember my mom shopping up a storm to have just the right outfits for the Middle Eastern climate (and vibe). Those were the days when parents didn’t think much of leaving their teenaged kids at home alone for a couple of weeks to hold down the fort in their absence. (Of course everything that could go wrong did go wrong! Caroline got the mumps and I had a horse riding accident at camp…).
When they returned I saw that my dad (in particular) was profoundly moved by the whole experience. If I think about the arc of history I am amazed by the shift in mentality that took place for Jews in the space of 25-30 years. My parents were born approximately 15 years before the establishment of the modern State of Israel and my sisters and I were born approximately 15-20 years after it. The Jewish State was a fact that I took for granted for my entire life. But when my parents were children they experienced unthinkable insecurity and danger as Jews living in Europe. If Israel been there when the Nazis came to power they could have escaped there and never would have endured so much pain and loss. That must be difficult for their generation to reconcile.