Representatives attending the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations were welcomed to the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.
By Erin Viner
Israeli President Isaac Herzog and the representatives held an open conversation about current affairs, challenges facing American Jewry, and issues of common interest to the Jewish communities of Israel and the United States, according to a statement TV7 obtained from the President’s Spokesperson.
The non-profit umbrella group of 51 American Jewish organizations defines itself as “the proven and effective voice of organized American Jewry for more than half a century” that “advances the interests of the American Jewish community, sustains broad-based support for Israel and addresses the critical concerns facing world Jewry.”
“The impact of American Jewry in the creation of Israel and its development from the Yishuv (pre-state Jewish community) until the present has been tremendous, perhaps unprecedented, and now we have to move forward in the best way,” President Herzog told his guests.
Following Herzog’s remarks, Conference of Presidents CEO William Daroff stated that, “The challenges we face in Israel and in the United States—regarding issues such as antisemitism and attacks on Israel’s legitimacy—demand a strong united front. President Herzog is a symbol of that unity—a unity without uniformity—and it was an honor to hear from him today.”
The Executive Vice President of the Conference of Presidents Malcolm Hoenlein presented the President with a special gift, an artistic representation by local artists Sharon Binder and Tamar Schiowitz of Isaiah 62:1:
“For the sake of Zion, I will not be silent, and for the sake of Jerusalem I will not rest until her righteousness emerges resplendent and her triumph like a flaming torch.”
As stated on its website, “The Conference is at the forefront mobilizing support to halt Iran’s nuclear program and to counter the global campaign to delegitimize Israel and the Jewish people.”
The expected deal between world powers and Iran at the Vienna Talks to revive the 2105 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and escalating concern over a Russian invasion of Ukraine were among topics of discussion.
“With all eyes on the talks in Vienna, and the situation on the Ukrainian border, we have consulted today with Israel’s senior leadership and as a community stand ready to speak out for the well-being of Jews everywhere. This is both our duty and our sincere commitment,” added the group’s CEO.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said during an earlier address to the Conference of Presidents that the new agreement emerging at the Vienna Talks is weaker than the original, and “highly likely to create a more violent, more volatile Middle East.”
While “there is no doubt that America is and will remain our biggest and strongest friend,” Bennett said, “ultimately, it is us who live in the region, and it is us here in Israel who will bear the consequences of the agreement.”
Photo: Haim Zach (GPO)