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.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Theater US & Canada New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    In his new play Mr. Goldberg Goes to Tel Aviv, playwright Oren Safdie tackles an issue that he has a major concern with: the relationship between Israelis and left-leaning Diaspora Jews with their “I know better” critical views. At the heart of the one-act play is Tony, a Jewish and gay Palestinian sympathizer who expresses strong anti-Israel sentiments when the play begins and at one point even sides with a Palestinian terrorist who holds his captive. Tony, who is also an [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    A Jewish comedy troupe released a parody video on Wednesday of Taylor Swift’s hit song Shake It Off in which they joke about taking extensive time off from work for Jewish holidays. “And the goyim gonna stay, stay, stay, stay, stay. And the Jews are gonna pray, pray pray, pray, pray. I’m just gonna take, take, take, take, take. I’m taking off,” goes the chorus for I’m Taking Off. Menachem Weinstein, the video’s lead singer, is the creative director at [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Literature On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    JNS.org – The 75th anniversary of the premiere of “Gone with the Wind” on Dec. 15 presents an opportunity to examine the Jewish influence on one of the most popular films of all time. That influence starts with the American Civil War epic’s famed producer, David O. Selznick. Adjusted for inflation, “Gone with the Wind” remains the highest-grossing movie ever made. It earned the 1939 Academy Award for Best Picture, the same honor another Selznick film, “Rebecca,” garnered in 1940. Selznick [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Music US & Canada EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    Matisyahu got candid in an exclusive interview with The Algemeiner on Monday about his religious and musical journey – after shedding his Chassidic skin, yarmulke, long beard and all – from the start of his career in 2005 when he became a reggae superstar with hits King Without a Crown and Jerusalem. The singer-songwriter embarks on his Festival of Light tour this month, an annual Hanukkah event that stops in Montreal, New York, and other cities before ending in San Juan, [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Personalities ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    JNS.org – It was an era of steel strings, guitar heroes, and storytellers—high on heroin, rebellious. Outlaw country music, the hallmark of Nashville’s powerful and angry music scene of the 1970s, was the brew of greats such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Townes Van Zandt. But there is another, little-known music hero of that era: Daniel Antopolsky. A Jewish lad from Augusta, Ga.—the son of immigrants who settled in the south and ran a hardware store on Main Street—the [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi replaced Israeli star Gal Gadot as the female lead in the new Ben-Hur remake, Hollywood.com reported on Tuesday. The Homeland actress will play Esther, a slave that Ben-Hur sets free and falls in love with. Gadot quit the movie when it became clear that filming conflicted with her schedule for the Man of Steel sequel. The Israeli actress plays Wonder Woman in the superhero film Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Actor Jack Huston takes on the [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    JNS.org – There is one sentence in “Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel” that made me sit up in surprise. I thought that I knew the basic facts about how Israel came into being, but while describing what it was like in the days and hours before the state was declared, author Anita Shapira provides one important anecdote I was not aware of. On the 12th of May, the Zionist Executive met to decide what to do. Moshe Sharrett had just returned [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    An actress starring in the controversial Met Opera The Death of Klinghoffer defended the show on Tuesday by comparing it to the 1993 Holocaust film Schindler’s List, New York Post reported. “To me, this was like [the movie] Schindler’s List. We make art so people won’t forget,’’ said the actress, who plays a captured passenger in the show and asked not to be identified. The Met Opera focuses on the infamous murder of Lower East Side Jewish resident Leon Klinghoffer, 69. The wheelchair-bound father of [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.