Israeli President Isaac Herzog addressed the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America, held virtually on Wednesday night. In his speech, Herzog warned of the threat of a rift between Israel and North American Jewry and made a powerful call for solidarity and mutual respect.
“I cannot imagine a world in which the two epic centers of Judaism function in solitude and disconnect, without working to build bridges back to each other," he said.
Herzog went on to discuss the challenges diaspora Jews face, including love for Israel, a complex issue for the young generation.
“It is almost too painful to express aloud, but an increasing number of young Jews no longer feel a bond with the Jewish collective. Too many American Jewish youths are disinterested in what being Jewish means and in the complex understanding of the realities and challenges facing Israel, and some of them, a very small minority, are too willing to accept distorted labels and libels against the Jewish State," he said.
The president added that his mission is to strengthen the lines of communication, to reinforce the underlying bond, community and mutual responsibility with North American Jewry.
"Israel is your home away from home," said the President, promising North American Jewry "to ensure that the Israeli people accept and respect every Jewish voice."