Space and Israel: Perfect Together!
By Alex Hamilton, Class of 2016
Rutgers Hillel Student Board President
I have long been obsessed with space travel. I am originally from Oklahoma, which has produced more astronauts than any other state. When I was young, I was a huge fan of Buzz Lightyear and Star Wars. Throughout my grade school years I followed the space missions closely. I know where I was when the Challenger exploded mid-air and we lost the first Israeli astronaut, Ilan Ramon. When I was in eighth grade, I went to Space Camp with my school’s gifted program and I got the chance to meet Al Worden (Apollo 15), a retired astronaut. When I was in USY in high school, there was a convention in Houston, and I was privileged to read from the only sefer torah to ever leave the atmosphere and enter outer space. When I was on my gap-year in Israel, I heard a presentation on SpaceIL’s daring mission to the moon. Both space and Israel are in my blood – and now they are both coming to Rutgers!
Humanity has long strained to go to the moon. We have pushed and pushed to step foot on another planet. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy decided to challenge gravity and nature by announcing to the nation that, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” We have sent 12 men to the surface of the moon. Three countries have successfully landed spacecraft on the moon: the US, Russia, and China. The fourth will be Israel.
Israel has the chutzpah (nerve) to break the barrier of gravity and put the Star of David on the moon, where it will forever remain, an achievement of intellect, strength, and perseverance. I have been following this particular mission closely since I first learned about it in 2013. I am proud to announce that Rutgers University will be the first university to host an event broadcasting this outstanding achievement.
On Wednesday, February 17th co-founder of Space IL Yonatan Winetraub will be on Rutgers campus sharing about lsrael’s mission to the moon. At 4PM at Rutgers Honors College there will be a technical presentation which I will likely not understand, but will still attend. Later that day at 7PM at the New Brunswick Theological Seminary there will be a public program celebrating this achievement in engineering. Click here to visit the Facebook event! I hope you can share my excitement about this amazing opportunity for Hillel and the University.
To join us for the technical seminar and/or public program on Wednesday, February 17th,
please RSVP to Barbara Cohen at firstname.lastname@example.org.