In the run-up to the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin recorded a video message to Jewish communities around the world wishing them a happy and healthy New Year.

In his message, the President noted the importance of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur as a time for reflection and soul searching, and of the obligation to consider others, and our relationships with other people.

Speaking of the challenges of the past year, the President said, “This past year there have been some terrible things. Terror has struck across the world, we have seen the danger of hatred and racism”. He continued, “Meeting with leaders from around the world this year, we said again and again: Israel will always defend its citizens no matter where they are. But we all have to fight terror together, we have to fight hatred and racism together. There is a long way to go, but together, we will win this fight.”

He also noted that, “We have also seen the true power of nature, as natural disasters have destroyed so many lives". The President spoke of his pride at the generosity and unity Jewish communities had displayed in the face of these disasters. He said, “In the face of these difficult challenges, in the face of such darkness, we have showed how much light we create when we stand together, Jews of all communities, and Jews and non-Jews together. I am proud of Israel’s efforts and those of all the Jewish community, to help those affected by natural disasters around the world.” He stressed, “We are thinking at this time, of our brothers and sisters of the Jewish communities in Houston, Florida, and Mexico.”

The President concluded by saying, “On the verge of the New Year I want to remind you that Israel will always be your home, the home of every Jewish person,” and added, “From our shared home, I wish and pray that this year we will overcome together, all the challenges before us.”