(photo credit: REUTERS)
Very early in his presidency, President Reuven Rivlin hosted a delegation from the Conservative Movement and told them that Jews are all one family.
He made the same comment again on Monday when he hosted a delegation from the board of Hebrew Union College, headed by HUC President Rabbi Aaron Panken who told him: “Mr. President, we want to say we are highly supportive of so many of your efforts, in your days as president. You have shown true leadership in the areas of rights for the Arab citizens of Israel, reconciliation between diverse groups, and consideration of those in Israeli society who need help. We are, after all, one people and our beloved state must continue to value each and every one of its citizens to the greatest extent possible. We share your immense hope for the future of the State of Israel, and hope to be a partner in ever greater ways.”
Rivlin told the delegation that the connection between all Jews all over the world is very important to the State of Israel. In welcoming the delegation he said: “I want to tell you that I know so many Jerusalemites now that are grandfathers and grandmothers, and only came here to study at the Hebrew Union College, but have now been here for three generations.”
On the issue of the current tensions in Jerusalem and across Israel, Rivlin said:, “Jerusalem is a microcosm of the ability of all the people of the region to live together. It is a place where we can find out if we can live together or if we are doomed to continue in the tragedy that we have endured for over one hundred years. I believe we have to bridge social gaps, for the societies to live together and to progress. We must build confidence measures because we are going to live here together forever. We are not doomed to live together, but destined to live together.”