'Most important thing is that Jews in Israel and North America get to know each other'

At the Jerusalem Conference, Eric Fingerhut speaks to Arutz Sheva about the relationship between Israeli and North American Jews.

Yoni Kempinski ,

Yoni Kempinski (L) and Eric Fingerhut (R)
Yoni Kempinski (L) and Eric Fingerhut (R)
Moshe Biton

This week at the Jerusalem Conference, Jewish Federations of North Ameican CEO Eric Fingerhut spoke on stage with Arutz Sheva English Editor Yoni Kempinski about the relationship between Israeli and North American Jews.

"The love of Israel, the connection to Israel, all across North America, is deep and real," Fingerhut said. He explained that even though there are "lots of disagreements," they should not be mistaken for what the "majority of American Jews believe, certainly not with regards to israel."

"The communities have supported and loved Israel all these years, and most importantly they are connected not because of a particular government, whether they agree or disagree with a government....they're not connected because of a government, they're connected because of the people."

When asked what he would like Israelis to understand about North American Jews, Fingerhut said, "I think that the most important thing is that we should get to know each other."

"We need to be here and learn and get to know you and visit the communities all over Israel in every part of Israel, and we need to understand the culture and the business and the religious life of Israel today. Same thing should be true of Israelis - come, get to know us. What you'll see is rich and diverse and flourishing Jewish life and communities that are growing in every possible way.

"To know Israel is to love you - most of the time. To know us is to love us - most of the time. But the same thing is true about my family. We always will have disagreements but I feel we don't know each other well enough, because we're changing."

"This is the most diverse generation in Jewish history," he added. "We love Israel, we love all the people of Israel - love us back. We're family, we're all together. Love us back"



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