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Rabbi's Weekly Torah Thoughts

Torah Thoughts


Last week we celebrated Israel’s Independence. Here are
some fun and informative facts about the Jewish State in
2019, from 

  1. Israel’s population is 9,009,000. About 74.2% are Jews, 21% Muslim or Christian Arabs, and the rest non-Arab Christians and others. (Central Bureau of Statistics) Citizens aged 0-20 comprise 43% of Israel’s population. The largest group within that category is 5- to 14-year-olds (18%). The latter category is largest in Jerusalem, making up 21% of its population. (Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem)
  2. More than 350 multinational corporations have R&D centers in Israel, including IBM, Intel, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Merck, HP Indigo, J&J, GE, Siemens, Qualcomm, Applied Materials and Samsung. Israel has the world’s highest per capita number of such centers. (IVC, Ministry of Economy and Industry) And Intel is making the largest-ever corporate investment in Israel: An $11 billion production plant planned in Kiryat Gat.
  3. Israel ranks fifth in the world for healthy longevity and 11th in the world for overall happiness. (2018 United Nations World Happiness Report)
  4. Since its establishment in 1901, the Jewish National Fund has planted more than 240 million trees in Israel. Israel is one of the only countries in the world that ended the 20th century with more trees than it had at the start. (KKL-JNF)
  5. Israel recycles 87% of its wastewater for agriculture, much more than any other country in the world. Some 31% of irrigation water originates from wastewater treated at more than 150 plants. (Mekorot)
  6. Israel’s annual honey yield is about 3,000 tons. About 1,600 tons of honey is consumed by Israelis every Rosh Hashana to symbolize the hope of a sweet Jewish New Year ahead. (Israeli Honey Board)


For full report, go to


  1. MJC is joining the Monmouth County cluster for the Celebrate Israel Parade on Sunday, June 2nd in NYC! Bus transportation provided – register at
  2. Visit Israel with MJC in November 2020! See the tentative itinerary and more information here. file:///C:/Users/rabbipont/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/Content.Outlook/YN41151O/MJCIsraelTripNov2020.pdf
  3. MJC is a proud partner with JNF! To read about MAKOM Communities, which we heard about last Friday night, go to

Shabbat shalom,
Rabbi Pont

High Holiday Sermons

Kol Nidre 5779 - Rabbi Michael Pont -  The Search for Truth 

Yom Kippur 5779 - Rabbi Michael Pont - Resilience after Loss - Yizkor

Erev Rosh Hashanah 5779 - Rabbi Michael Pont - Introduction of Holiday Theme

Rosh Hashanah 5779 - Rabbi Michael Pont - Resilience
                                           Click here to Watch the Rabbi's Sermon Online

Rosh Hashanah - Rabbi Ron Koas - Sermon 5779

Rosh Hashanah 5778 - Rabbi Michael Pont - Mitzvah as An Opportunity

Rosh Hashanah - Rabbi Ron Koas - Sermon 5778

Kol Nidre - Rabbi Michael Pont - Bring People Close To Torah

Yom Kippur - Rabbi Michael Pont - You're Never Alone

Tue, May 21 2019 16 Iyyar 5779