The president of the Jewish Federation of Boston, Rabbi Marc Baker, came this week for a quick visit to Haifa. The purpose of the visit was to support Israel and its citizens in general and Haifa in particular. Rabbi Baker met with key figures in Israeli society and members of the Knesset. His visit to Haifa was led by Hila Perlman-Paniel, director of the Haifa-Boston partnership, and Reny Bender, chairman of the partnership.
In Haifa, Rabbi Baker met with the mayor, Dr. Einat Kalisch-Rotem, and the CEO of the municipality, Nir Mariash, as well as with the president of the University of Haifa, Prof. Ron Rubin. He also met with a group of young people who participate in the many programs of the partnership, in order to learn about the current challenges, about the impact of the political situation on Israeli society in general and among the young people in particular. Rabbi Baker expressed the CJP's (Combined Jewish Philanthropies) unqualified support for the State of Israel, and asked to understand and learn how the CJP can support the State of Israel in these difficult days.
The mayor expressed her concern about the rift in the nation in wake of the legal reform and the huge demonstrations against the government. Kalisch-Rotem added and said that the Law of Arrangements that the government is seeking to pass in the Knesset will pose a real danger to the independence of the local authorities and the service they will be able to provide to the residents, and therefore requested the intervention of the members of the federation in these struggles.
Perlman, director of the Haifa Boston Partnership, who led the visit, stated: "The State of Israel and Jewish society all over the world are in difficult times. Israeli society, known for its strengths, is today in a state of deep social crisis, which leads to division and polarization. Many words have been written about the situation we have found ourselves in. As a society and as a country. The Haifa-Boston partnership and the CJP are pained by what is happening in Israel in general and especially due to the weakening of the cohesion of Israeli society. The visit of support by the president of the Boston Federation of the CJP warms the heart and inspires hope for unity and mutual guarantee, especially in these difficult days.”
Marc Baker: "As a Jew from North America who feels a deep love and responsibility for Israel and the Jewish people, I understand that this hour is a difficult hour of crisis for the Jewish people as a whole and for the State of Israel in particular. And at a time like this, it is important for us to emphasize our deep commitment to the State of Israel, to Israeli society and for the continuity of the unity of the Jewish people. The 75th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel is accompanied by struggles over many aspects of Israel's Jewish and democratic identity. I believe in Israel's resilience and continue to hope that this crisis will lead to greater commitment from the diverse political spectrum in the country, to the continued construction and prosperity of the State of Israel and for the cohesion of Israeli society."
This article was written in cooperation with the Jewish Federation of Boston