Mayor of Jerusalem Moshe Lion has over the past week reached out to his counterparts, the mayors of Rome, Madrid, and New York, as well as the Governors of New York, and New Jersey.
As mayors of the capitals of Italy and Spain – two of the hardest hit European countries by the COVID-19 outbreak – the Mayor reached out especially to Mayor Virginia Raggi of Rome, and Mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida of Madrid. He also wrote especially to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy as leaders of states and cities with some of the largest Jewish communities outside of Israel.
Mayor Lion wrote to each of them that, “At a time of such great uncertainty and distress for all humanity, it is my privilege and duty as Mayor of Jerusalem to continue to hold high the beacon of faith and unity, and extend to you my greetings of friendship and hope at this dark hour.”
In his letters, Mayor Lion expressed his sorrow over the loss of life in each of the cities and states. He wrote, “While we in Jerusalem cope with our own challenges from the outbreak of COVID-19, our hearts go out to all those who are suffering, and especially to those who are losing so many loved ones.”
He also expressed his appreciation for his counterparts’ “brave and steadfast leadership in this traumatic time,” and assured them of the “solidarity of all the people of Jerusalem, in the fight against the spread of Coronavirus.”
Mayor Lion wrote of the close ties between the Jewish communities all over the world, and noted that all peoples stood, “Side by side as we face this new challenge.” He noted Jerusalem’s great progress in the fields of medical technology, cybersecurity, communications, and data, and urged that “improving cooperation in these crucial fields is of great importance,” concluding, “I am certain you join me in my sincerest hope that this terrible chapter in our shared history will soon be behind us, and we will be able together to build a future of deeper cooperation and partnership for the benefit of all.”
In the last week, the Mayor instructed a message of unity and hope to be projected on the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City, reading, “Jerusalem stands together with the world.”
Mayor Lion commented, “Jerusalem stands at the center of the world for so many people of faith, and at the same time at the cutting edge of innovation and medical research. We will continue to reach out to leaders in cities around the world to offer our support and encouragement, and to work to deepen our cooperation and friendships for the benefit of the people of Jerusalem, and cities across the globe.”