US Ambassador Friedman:
'Jews will forever remain in Land of Israel'

US Ambassador David Friedman participates in inauguration of new Sderot building: 'They ask what I love about Israel; I answer: everything.'

Yoni Kempinski ,

Singing and dancing at dedication of new building at Yeshivat Sderot
Singing and dancing at dedication of new building at Yeshivat Sderot
Matanel David

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Rabbi Rafi Peretz attended today's inauguration ceremony and laid a cornerstone for expanding the study hall at the Sderot Yeshiva.

The interior structure was donated by David E. Feldman to memorialize Rabbanit Goldie Fendel, the mother of Rabbi David Fendel of the yeshiva.

The event opened with singing and dancing in the new building's plaza and affixing a mezuzah by the U.S. Ambassador. A cornerstone was then dedicated to expand the Beit Midrash.

Education Minister Rafi Peretz said: "We're all with the Gaza area communities, the entire way; we're in the same boat, what the Yeshiva students have been doing here for many years is great. It's great to see the living Torah, the breathing Torah. Exactly what we read in the Haftarah prophet's reading last Shabbat: 'Comfort, comfort my people; Speak to the heart of Jerusalem'; this is the consolation, surely Isaiah the Prophet sees such a yeshiva, the robustness of the Torah, the robustness of such a city - and he is proud."

Peretz referred to attacks on religious Zionism by Leftist politicians: "You hear the attacks; religious Zionism works, it does its work faithfully, it goes out to give to the people of Israel everywhere, with great love for this people."

Ambassador Friedman said at the event: "I want to congratulate the Mayor, all the students, and the yeshiva, who continue the great way you are traversing. Rabbi Meir Fendel, the father of the yeshiva (Rabbi David) was my manager in America. I remember he set up a yeshiva in Long Island, in a place with no Torah at all, 'in an uncultivated land', and there he established a venue of Torah where my brothers and I learned and from there I received the love of the State of Israel and my Zionism.

"I remember like yesterday when I was in third grade when the Six Day War started; we stopped classwork and followed what was going on in the country, and when we won we were really happy for the State of Israel. A large percentage of what I am today I received from my studies at Rabbi Fendel's school.

"In my job, I'm always asked what I like here in the State of Israel in my role, what makes an impression, and my answer is everything. It's a great country, and when they say to me, 'Give us one good place anyway,' so I can say Jerusalem, the Holy City, Tel Aviv for business, the Dead Sea, which is the lowest place in the world, Masada, Tiberias, Tzfat, etc. All places are the correct answer, but you cannot complete the answer without mentioning the city of Sderot, without saying this place. A place that proves that Jews will be in Eretz Yisrael forever and ever.

"There's no other place in the world where people will be and succeed and believe and learn Torah when there are rockets and all the dangers that exist here. Most Jewish cities express the connection with the past, here in Sderot they stress the future. The city of Sderot proves to everyone in the world, also in the U.S., that anyone who wants to raise anti-Semitism in the world, hatred of Jews in the world, will see here and understand that he won't succeed. The days we passed in the last century that the haters of Jews would endanger us will no longer be. It is my honor to be here and congratulate you, I'm proud of you, celebrating with you, and the United States of America is here with you praying for you, and we'll always be with the city of Sderot," Friedman said.

Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi said, "I'm excited to be here and to meet the new incoming class. I'm excited to be with you here today inaugurating the building and expanding the yeshiva campus. I promise this day, on the day of inaugurating another building for the city and its students, that Hamas and other organizations can try to sow death and launch missiles, but we'll build neighborhoods, flourish, and expand the city, and bring thousands more people who love the State of Israel, who love the city of Sderot."

Rabbi David Fendel said at the ceremony, "We were honored to open the New Year with extending Torah, expanding Israel, extending the city of Sderot. An extension that shows our enemies that no matter what they do to frighten us to leave the city, we'll stay and hold on to the city, develop it, build it, elevate the Torah and the good connection and love for the people of Israel.

"The donor very much wanted the building to be named after the late Rebbetzin Goldie Fendel, who already believed from the beginning in the blooming south and city of Sderot, and she supported and pushed to increase Torah in the yeshiva. All our investment here, the students, the ramim, the rabbis, the staff, etc. - all to increase Torah and its growth in the city of Sderot."

He added, "We want to thank U.S. Ambassador to Israel Mr. David Friedman, for all his work for Eretz Yisrael, for the People of Israel, for the Torah, and for tradition. And of course for his arrival a year-and-a-half ago to lay the cornerstone for this building, and his arrival today to inaugurate the building as the building is finished. It's a great honor that the people close to the U.S. President are people who love the Land of Israel, the People of Israel, the Torah, and tradition. In addition, we want to thank the Mayor who's pushing the city forward, who's growing and making the city flourish, who is changing the shape of the city beyond all recognition in all areas of development."

Donor David E. Feldman said: "Who would have believed that 30 years ago this is what would be in Sderot. It's great to see what's going on here, big yeshivas, big midrashot, religious schools. Congratulations; you should have great success and continue to flourish in Sderot."