President Reuven Rivlin.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
NEW YORK – President Reuven Rivlin addressed American-Jewish community leaders in New York on Friday and called on them to “always listen to one another.”
The event took place at the UJA Federation’s headquarters in the presence of religious leaders from the Reform, Orthodox and Conservative movements.
The president was introduced by four rabbis: the Union for Reform Judaism’s Rick Jacobs; United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism CEO Steven Wernick; Orthodox Union vice president emeritus Tzvi Hersh Weinreb; and New York Board of Rabbis executive vice president Joseph Potasnik.
Rivlin compared the different American-Jewish movements to Hanukka candles, saying they each have “their own special flames and character.”
“It is important for the State of Israel to show full respect and sensitivity to all American Jews,” he stressed. “It is important that we remember, not only on Hanukka, that we are all one family.
“All communities represented here today share the love of Israel and a deep commitment to the future of the Jewish people and to the positive image of the State of Israel.” Rivlin added. “We must never forget that even the major differences between us are an honest expression of concern shared by all of us, whether we are Orthodox, Reform or Conservative.
“Even though sometimes we cannot agree or we are not ready to agree, we have to listen to one another,” he said.
Rivlin also expressed his solidarity with the victims and families of victims of terrorist attacks “in Israel and all over the world.”
He is expected to speak at the Haaretz
conference in New York on Sunday morning and attend a Hanukka candle lighting ceremony, the last one of the year, at the Pierre Hotel in New York in the presence of UN ambassadors, including Israeli envoy Danny Danon, on Sunday evening.