Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Keeping it in the Family

May 9, 2012 3:13 pm 0 comments

Israel's Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, keynote speaker of the ACCESS 20/20 Conference in Washington, D.C. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

When it comes to the Jewish people, says Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, it’s all in the family.

Speaking to an international gathering of the members of ACCESS, the Young Leadership Division of the American Jewish Committee, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Michael Oren, discussed the responsibilities and opportunities of being part of the Jewish family.  Introduced to the 400 participants from 30 countries by ACCESS National Chairman Matthew Bronfman, Oren began his pre-Shabbat address with conversation about the challenges to his immediate family -“big Israeli kids, with big Israeli problems.” Among these he listed rockets and roadblocks, housing and Haredim, the search for a true peace partner and the threat of a nuclear Iran – then reminded his international audience that they were part of the same Jewish family.

“Something is wrong here,” said Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren.  “When the UJA logo, “Am Ehad – we are one” is more likely to raise eyebrows than funds, the Jewish family is in trouble.  When Jews call for boycott of Israeli products because of a misplaced sense of caring about Israel, it becomes clear the Israelis inhabit a difference universe and face a different reality.”   Oren noted that while support for Israel in the United States “is at an all-time high, Jews seem to more divided.”  At stake, he said, is nothing less than the unity of the Jewish people.

Oren spoke about the tradition of mishpocha inherent to the Jewish people.  For millennia, he noted, Jews pulled together to protect one another in often hostile environments.  The Haschalah – Enlightenment – collapsed ghetto walls, and opened “a wellspring of creative energy” in the Jewish community.  It took the Holocaust to cause rethinking about Jewish peoplehood.”

“Who is pro-Israel?” asked the Ambassador.   “One who recalls Jewish life without the Jewish State, who   works for the Jewish State.  A pro-Israeli person understands that Israel must have ability to defend  itself, by itself and take pride in Israeli achievement.  A pro-Israel person appreciates that Israel alone cannot bring peace with the Palestinians.  The Palestinians have the responsibility to denounce terror and accept the legitimacy of a Jewish State of Israel.”

“We are a small people facing big problems,” cautioned Oren.  “We are a people,” emphasized the Ambassador.  “Peoplehood is the secret to our success.  It must be nurtured, strengthened and invigorated.”  There is, he assured, a place at our table for divergent groups.

“The nation state of the Jewish people is the reason d’etre on which the State of Israel is predicated.” When it comes to the Jewish people, says Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, it’s all in the family.

Matthew Bronfman (right), Chairman of the American Jewish Committee Young Leadership Division. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

Mathew Bronfman, philanthropist and business man, is Chairman of the AJC Young Leadership Division. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture A Theatrical Look at Diplomacy and the Oslo Accords (REVIEW)

    A Theatrical Look at Diplomacy and the Oslo Accords (REVIEW)

    Is diplomacy worthwhile, even if the end result isn’t what we hoped for? That is the question, among many others, posed by the new play Oslo, by J.T. Rogers. Making its New York debut at Lincoln Center, the play examines the secret diplomatic process that led to the historic 1993 peace accords. The character of Shimon Peres makes an appearance onstage — and he, along with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, tower over the proceedings. But they mainly do so in absentia. Instead, […]

    Read more →
  • Spirituality/Tradition Sports Israeli Trailblazer Dean Kremer Brings Jewish Values to Nascent Pro Baseball Career

    Israeli Trailblazer Dean Kremer Brings Jewish Values to Nascent Pro Baseball Career

    JNS.org – Other than being part of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, Sandy Koufax and Dean Kremer have something else in common: a respect for Jewish tradition. Koufax — who was recently ranked by ESPN as the best left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB) history — decided not to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because the game fell on Yom Kippur. “I would do the same,” Kremer said in an interview. Last month, the 20-year-old Kremer became […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Lead Guitarist of British Rock Band Queen Asks Adam Lambert to Sing in Hebrew During Upcoming Israel Concert

    Lead Guitarist of British Rock Band Queen Asks Adam Lambert to Sing in Hebrew During Upcoming Israel Concert

    The famed lead guitarist of British rock band Queen, Brian May, encouraged Jewish singer-songwriter Adam Lambert to perform in Hebrew during their upcoming joint concert in Israel, an entertainment industry advocacy organization reported on Tuesday. During a recent interview with Israeli television personality Assi Azar, May was played a 2005 video of Lambert singing the popular song Shir L’Shalom, (Song for Peace). May was so impressed by Lambert’s singing of the Hebrew track that he told the American singer, “We have to do that. Let’s […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Kenyan Marathoner to Compete for Israel in Rio Olympics

    Kenyan Marathoner to Compete for Israel in Rio Olympics

    JNS.org – Kenyan-born marathoner Lonah Chemtai is expected to compete for Israel at the Olympics Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil next month after gaining a last minute approval. “I am very proud [to represent Israel] and I hope to achieve a new personal best time,” Chemtai told Reuters. Chemtai, who grew up a rural village in western Kenya, first came to Israel in 2009 to care of the children of her country’s ambassador to Israel. The 27-year-old runner recently gained […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Will Laughs Lead to Love on Show About Orthodox Dating?

    Will Laughs Lead to Love on Show About Orthodox Dating?

    To date or not to date? That is not the question for most Modern Orthodox singles in New York. The question is when will they find their future spouses, and when will their families stop nagging them about having babies? Inspired by the success of the Israeli show “Srugim,” Leah Gottfried, 25, decided she would create and star in her own show, “Soon By You.” “Dating is so serious already,” Gottfried said. “We wanted to take a lighter approach and laugh at the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israeli Actress Says Playing Muslim Character in ‘Tyrant’ Has Made Her More ‘Hopeful, Humble’

    Israeli Actress Says Playing Muslim Character in ‘Tyrant’ Has Made Her More ‘Hopeful, Humble’

    Israeli actress Moran Atias said that playing a Muslim woman in the hit FX series Tyrant has changed her outlook. “Educating myself about a different culture has made me more hopeful and humble, that we’re all the same,” the Jewish actress, 35, said during an interview with AOL Build. Atias plays Leila Al-Fayeed, the strong and politically minded wife of the president of Abbudin, a fictional Middle Eastern country run by a dictatorial family. The Israeli-born former model, who earned the title of Miss Globe International […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Jewish Fashionistas From Around the World to Tour ‘Chic Side of Israel’

    Jewish Fashionistas From Around the World to Tour ‘Chic Side of Israel’

    A delegation of 35 Jewish fashion industry mavens from around the world will travel to Israel later this month to “discover the chic side” of the country, 5 Town Jewish Times reported. The eight-day tour, organized by the Maryland-based Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project (JWRP) and the Israeli Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, will include visits to key fashion sites and meetings with some of the country’s top fashion designers, merchandisers and marketers. Participants will also attend a JWRP Fashion Week event in Tel Aviv. JWRP said the trip is […]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Granddaughter of Holocaust Survivors Honored to Represent Israel at 2016 Olympic Games

    Granddaughter of Holocaust Survivors Honored to Represent Israel at 2016 Olympic Games

    Pro golfer Laetitia Beck said she is honored to have been selected to represent Israel at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil largely because of her grandparents, who survived the Holocaust. “Everywhere I go, I want people to know where I’m from, my background and where my family came from because of the struggle they had to go through,” she told the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA). “Every week when I play and I see the Israeli flag, it brings me a lot […]

    Read more →