A unique mission led by Gesher arrived in the United States yesterday (Wednesday), in order to express solidarity with American Jews in light of the recent rise in anti-Semitism.
In recent months, U.S. Jews have been experiencing a wave of anti-Semitism and violence. The number of anti-Semitic incidents across the country is growing and most U.S. Jews have personally witnessed an anti-Semitic incident in recent months.
In light of this tense situation, the Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem and the social activist Fleur Hassan Nahum together with the Gesher organization organized a quick two-day delegation, in which public figures from the State of Israel are taking part in a show of solidarity with American Jews.
The delegation is being led by Gesher International Director JJ Sussman and includes amongst others: Gesher Chair, Lt. Gen. (retired) Orit Adato, Chairman of the Federation of Local Authorities in Israel and the Mayor of the city of Modiin, Haim Bibbs, MK Michael Biton (Blue and White), Jerusalem Deputy Mayor and social activist Fleur Hassan Nahum, leading media personalities from Israel and more.
Over the course of the two day visit, members of the delegation are meeting with prominent figures in the Jewish community in New York. They will meet with the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, Jonathan Greenblatt, the Chairman and the CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America, Mark Wilf and Eric Fingerhut, and with individuals and institutions who were targets of some of the recent anti-Semitic attacks such as Joey Borgen and some of the synagogues in Riverdale and in Brooklyn that were vandalized.
Hassan Nahum said: "The visits and meetings with members of the Jewish community in the United States and its representatives, testify to how much our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora long for the solidarity and support of the State of Israel and how important the people to people connection is.”
"We met Rabbis and community leaders who presented us with the challenges facing the Jewish community these days, including dealing with the rise in anti-Semitism and attacks on Diaspora Jews alongside the decline in support by the younger generation of American Jews for the State of Israel and the need to restore their trust in us. I sincerely hope that this special delegation of the Gesher organization can be the beginning of a mutual conversation."
Among the goals of Gesher is to strengthen the connection on the part of Israelis with world Jewry and that is why, in collaboration with the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, Gesher recently established the "AM”I Initiative” to help Israelis engender a sense of awareness of and responsibility towards strengthening and further developing this connection.
JJ Sussman, International Director of Gesher said: “The word Gesher means a bridge. Gesher believes in a two way bridge. After years of being on the receiving end of solidarity missions to Israel from our brothers and sisters across the world, this is a great opportunity to bring Israelis to show solidarity and love back to Jewish communities in the New York/New Jersey area. In this way, we can learn first hand the situation on the ground and open the lines of communication between us in Israel and Diaspora Jewry to strengthen one another.”
Ilan Gal-Dor, CEO of Gesher said: "It is our national and moral duty to give Diaspora Jews the feeling and understanding that we are with them. We as Israelis need to care about them no less than they care about us.”