President Rivlin
President Rivlin Photo: Eliran Aharon

President Reuven Rivlin today (Monday) hosted a delegation of the senior leadership of the World Jewish Congress (WJC). Speaking at the meeting was President Rivlin, WJC President Ronald Lauder, Chairman of the WJC Governing Board David de Rothschild, and WJC Treasurer Chella Safra.

President Rivlin and Ronald Lauder
President Rivlin and Ronald Lauder Mark Neiman / GPO
President Rivlin welcomes David De Rothschild
President Rivlin welcomes David De Rothschild Mark Neiman / GPO

The President welcomed the delegation and said, “Welcome to the President's House, the home of all the people of Israel, and all the people in Israel.” He stressed, “Jewish leadership today, faces three major challenges. The first is Jewish communities in need. I know that the World Jewish Congress works day and night to stand up for the Jewish people, and to look after the needs of the Jewish people around the world.”

He continued, “The second challenge is the relationship between the younger generation and the State of Israel. The younger generation does not remember a world without Israel - some perhaps even take Israel for granted. Still, Jewish students today face a day to day struggle on campus and on the internet against Israel. They are called on to stand up for Israel for being Jewish, and it is not easy. This challenge is not just for them, this challenge is not just for you, it is a challenge for us in the State of Israel and in the Diaspora.” The President added, “I am pleased to say there are many good projects, in Israel and around the world to keep the bond between us strong."

The President said to the delegates, "Each of you represents proud communities: proud to be Jews and proud to stand with Israel. Israel is proud to stand with you and with your communities. Together we must work to strengthen the bond between our communities, more than ever.”

The President added, “Finally, we have the third challenge: how to keep Israel as a strong, open and prosperous society? I have set at the top of my agenda, the need to build bridges between the different groups that make up Israel’s society; secular, ultra-Orthodox, National Religious, and Arab. Four tribes with different identities, different dreams, and different hopes. The President's Office has created and given support to a range of projects to bring these communities together - in schools and universities, in employment and sport - to build together a shared future, a shared hope. There is a long way to go but we can see the beginnings of change. This is a challenge which we must face, a challenge which goes to the very heart of our lives here, to the very heart of Zionism, and to the very heart of the existence and survival of the State of Israel. As leaders of the Jewish communities around the world you are all important partners in this mission and I hope we will find the way to work together.”

He concluded, “It is a pleasure and an honor to have you here with us in Jerusalem. And I take this opportunity to wish you all a very sweet and happy New Year.”

Leading the delegation, President of the WJC Ronald Lauder said to the President, “You make us very proud - I have had a chance to be with you in different countries and you always represent Israel and the Jewish people with greatness.”

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