JERUSALEM—The head of the Jewish community of Pittsburgh will be honored during next month’s Yom Haatsmaout or Independence Day celebrations.
Israel’s Minister of Culture and Sports and Chairperson of the Ministerial Committee on Symbols and Ceremonies, Miri Regev, informed Jeffrey H. Finkelstein, the president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, that he will carry the Diaspora torch at the State of Israel’s 71st Independence Day ceremony on May 8.
The announcement comes six months after 11 members of the Pittsburgh community were killed in a shooting attack at the city’s Tree of Life Synagogue.
Regev said Finkelstein ‘’represents ‘the tree of life’, the growing spirit of brotherhood and human togetherness, and the great soul of our Diaspora brothers and sisters.’’
‘’In his blessed work, Jeff Finkelstein expresses the spirit of greatness and social cohesion among our people as well as concern to spread the light of love of all humanity.’’ ‘’Our standing alongside the families of the victims of the attack at the Tree of Life synagogue and alongside the families of the people who were murdered at the mosque in New Zealand is an expression of the overriding principle of the spirit of the Jewish people, encapsulated in ‘love your neighbor as yourself’, the principle of Rabbi Akiva,’’ the minister said.
The ministerial committee noted that in his community work, Jeffrey Finkelstein has succeeded in uniting the various streams and groups in the Jewish community in order to move it forward and strengthen the pact between Israel and Diaspora Jewry.