US President Barack Obama recorded a video greeting to Jews around the world on Thursday, just ahead of Rosh Hashana.
"As members of the Jewish faith here in America and around the world gather to celebrate the High Holidays, I want to extend my warmest wishes for this New Year. L'Shanah Tovah Tikatevu - may you have a good year, and may you be inscribed for blessing in the Book of Life," Obama said in the greeting.
He called the Jewish New Year "a time of humble prayer, joyful celebration, and hope for a new beginning," and urged people all over the globe to "come together to build a better world for our children and grandchildren."
"At the dawn of this New Year, let us rededicate ourselves to that work. Let us reject the impulse to harden ourselves to others' suffering, and instead make a habit of empathy - of recognizing ourselves in each other and extending our compassion to those in need," he went on.
The US president denounced "prejudice, intolerance, and indifference," and said anti-Semitism was "still prevalent in far too many corners of our world."
On Israel, he said, "Let us work to achieve lasting peace and security for the state of Israel, so that the Jewish state is fully accepted by its neighbors, and its children can live their dreams free from fear. That is why my Administration is actively pursuing the lasting peace that has eluded Israel and its Arab neighbors for so long."
"Throughout history, the Jewish people have been, in the words of the Prophet Isaiah, 'a light unto the nations.' Through an abiding commitment to faith, family, and justice, Jews have overcome extraordinary adversity, holding fast to the hope of a better tomorrow.
"In this season of renewal, we celebrate that spirit; we honor a great and ancient faith; and we rededicate ourselves to the work of repairing this world.
"Michelle and I wish all who celebrate Rosh Hashana a healthy, peaceful and sweet New Year," Obama said at the end of the greeting.