Thursday, 2 Dec 2021 - 28 of Kislev, 5782

Israeli President Isaac Herzog to British Jewish leaders: ‘You are an exemplary community’

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‘’We intend to invest a lot of time and effort to make sure that all Jews, wherever they are, whatever their denomination, whatever they believe in or don’t believe in, feel at home in the State of Israel. We want to tell the British Jewish community that you are going to be a central pillar in this activity because you are an exemplary community,’’ said Israeli President Isaac Herzog as he met this week British Jewish community in the framework of his state visit to the U.K.

The President noted the strong links between British and Israeli Jewry, noting that Eliyahu Kay, who was murdered on Sunday morning in Jerusalem by a Hamas terrorist, was the grandson of Rabbi Shlomo and Rebbetzin Lynndy Levin of South Hampstead Synagogue in London.

Among the organizations represented at the meeting were the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Jewish Leadership Council, the Union of Jewish Students, and UJIA. Also in attendance were Israeli Ambassador to the UK Tzipi Hotovely and Jewish Agency Director-General Amira Ahronoviz.

Ambassador  said: “The UK Jewish community has always had strong support for the State of Israel and Zionism. President Herzog and his family are exemplary role models for the deep connection between Zionism and Britain. The connection with the younger generation in the UK in general, and the Jewish community in particular, is very important to me. We at the embassy are continually working to strengthen these ties.”

Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl affirmed British Jewry’s commitment to Israel saying: “Israel gives us something which our great grandparents in the shtetl or communities in the Middle East never experienced – a sense of security – a feeling that there is somewhere in the world we can call our own.”

Earlier this week President Herzog met Prince Charles at his official residence Highgrove House.

He also met British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street in London. The two leaders held a diplomatic working meeting, during which they made statements to the press.

‘’It is fantastic to welcome President Herzog to London, we’ve known each other a long time. We are very proud that you should make this trip to the UK at an early part of your tenure, and we regard that as an important testimony to the strength of the relationship,’’ said Johnson.

Herzog thanked the Prime Minister and said: ‘’As you know my family history goes back in this land for well over a century, and we are very honoured to have this unique relation with the United Kingdom. We are grateful to you for your great leadership, with the State of Israel, and for your moral clarity when it comes to the State of Israel and the Jewish People and fighting antisemitism.’’

‘’I want to thank Israel for what you did there, you were great,’’ said Johnson.

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