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Jerusalem Life

| Jewish Leaders Stand in Silence Honoring Victims of Pittsburgh Attack

Zev Stub    
Sunday, 27 October 2:30 PM

Hundreds of Jewish leaders from across the globe, members of The Jewish Agency Board of Governors, stood for a moment of silence this morning honoring the memory of the 11 worshipers killed in the deadly anti-Semitic attack at the Tree of Life building in Pittsburgh exactly one year ago.

This commemorative ceremony took place at the opening of The Jewish Agency Board of Governors, taking place this week in Jerusalem. This morning, flags at The Jewish Agency buildings in Jerusalem were also lowered to half-mast to mark the anniversary of the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in the history of the Jewish community in the United States.

Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog lit a memorial candle in memory of those murdered in the attack, along with Michael Siegel, Jewish Agency Chairman of the Board and Ms. Cindy Shapira, Pittsburgh community leader and Chair of UIA. Shapira told the gathering of global Jewish leaders: “What happened after the attack is testimony to the resilience of the Jewish community, as well as the community at large.” Shapria explained that she chose to be at the Board of Governors in Jerusalem and miss the many commemorative events occurring in her hometown of Pittsburgh so she can focus on the resilience of the Jewish people, saying: “I'm here at this meeting because The Jewish Agency and leadership of Jewish people around the world are in a focused mission to connect the Jewish people to each other and to Israel, security all over the world and bring those to the Homeland who want to be here.”


The Jewish Agency is set to approve a strategic action plan for the coming decade, designed to address the major challenges currently facing the Jewish people. According to the strategic plan, The Jewish Agency will work to ensure the safety of Jewish communities around the world and fight vigorously against the manifestations of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism that reached new heights in recent years. In addition, The Jewish Agency will focus on encouraging Aliyah and assist those who make Aliyah of-choice, while also conducting clandestine emergency Aliyah operations. Over the next decade, The Jewish Agency will also engage in mending the rifts among the Jewish people by reinforcing the affinity of world Jews towards each other and the State of Israel, while building a two-way bridge between world Jewry and Israel. The Jewish Agency will also represent the different voices of global Jews to Israeli policymakers and within Israeli society, while ensuring the involvement of world Jewry in shaping the face of Israeli society.

Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog told the leaders gathered that, “B’chol dor va dor (in every generation), there are challenges for each generation. What strikes me is that some of our challenges today are similar to those of 90 years ago. Anti-Semitism, divisiveness among the Jewish people… We cannot put our heads in the sand. We have challenges we must meet. We must also build the future. The fact that we are nurturing the future of the Jewish people, together with partners, in order to be able to bring the voice of the Jewish world to Israeli society, to impact Israeli society, is a direct link to where we began…You're all partners in this change. History will judge us that we knew how to meet this challenge in our tenth decade, in order to serve the Jewish people with ahavat Israel (love of Israel).”


Jewish leaders attending the Board of Governors will hear from Prime Minister MK Benjamin Netanyahu tomorrow (Monday) and Blue and White leader MK Benny Gantz on Tuesday, who are expected to address, among other topics, the challenges of rising anti-Semitism and securing Jews wherever they may be in the world.



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