Yaakov Hagoel, chairman of the World Zionist Organization, speaking at The Jerusalem Post Conference in New York, identified five major challenges confronting the Jewish people today.
Hagoel, speaking in Hebrew to the audience, listed the following issues: the lack of fluency in Hebrew, disunity among the Jewish people, assimilation, antisemitism, and the importance of aliyah.
“We must encourage more Jews to come to Israel.”Yaakov Hagoel
“Fewer Jewish people in the Diaspora are speaking Hebrew,” said Hagoel. “Hebrew is not only a language – it is a culture, and it is the glue that unites us.”
Referring to the recent controversies that have fragmented the Jewish people in Israel, Hagoel said while it is not necessary that everyone agrees with each other, people must listen to each other. When it comes to antisemitism, said Hagoel, “We must raise our heads in Jewish pride and deal with the sickness of antisemitism.”
He noted the increased assimilation rates in the world and said that the values of Jewish unity must be strengthened in Israel and the Diaspora.
Hagoel pointed out that while the Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to an increase in aliyah from those two countries, aliyah rates have declined from other countries in the world. “We must encourage more Jews to come to Israel,” he said. The connecting thread of all five issues, Hagoel concluded, is Jewish identity. “We must strengthen it and continue to do well for the Jewish people and the world.”
Minute of silence observed at Celebrate Israel Parade
At the Celebrate Israel Parade that was held in New York on Sunday, for the first time, a minute of silence was observed at the beginning of the parade on Fifth Avenue, for those who fell in battle defending the State of Israel and for victims of terror against Jews.
This was instituted on the initiative of the World Zionist Organization and the Division for Commemoration, Family and Heritage at the Israeli Defense Ministry.
Three weeks ago, the Israeli government passed a decision on the initiative of World Zionist Organization Chairman Yaakov Hagoel to commemorate Jews in the Diaspora who were victims of terror and murdered in hostilities of an antisemitic nature outside of Israel.