Doron Almog
Doron Almogצילום: לירון מולדובן

Despite the high tensions regarding the status quo on issues of religion and state, incoming Jewish Agency chairman Doron Almog has chosen this past weekend to participate in a Reform Movement conference in Shefayim.

"This is the first place where I chose to be after my election," Almog said at the start of his speech.

Prior to the speech, Almog had held an open discussion with the leaders of the Reform Movement in Israel and the world, during which he reiterated his great commitment to the nation of Israel.

During the event, Almog was applauded for saying that his eldest daughter had been called to the Torah at age 12, in a Reform Temple.

"The photograph of our daughter Nitzan with the talit (prayer shawl traditionally worn by men - ed.) hangs in our home," Almog said.

Almog also received the Reform prayer book, "Tefillat Ha'adam," from the Reform Movement's leadership, and was very moved by the gesture. He recounted that those two words had great meaning for him.

"Tefillat Ha'adam is the oath that a person makes to himself in the deepest places," he explained. "I made two of these: One near my dead brother Aran's tank during the Yom Kippur War - not to leave a soldier behind, ever. The second I requested of hundreds of paratroopers near the grave of Hannah Senesh - for the sake of the weakest: Always remain human beings."

Almog also told of his son Aran, who was his "teacher for life" and who was his inspiration for the Aleh Negev village in southern Israel.

Oren Henig, Director General of the Liba Center, said, "Today it became clear that even the appointment of the chairman of the Jewish Agency, Doron Almog, was intended to pacify the Reform minority and force an anti-traditional distortion on the entire nation. Almog exposed, at the Reform conference, that he and his family belong to the Reform community."

"The government led by kippah-wearing [Prime Minister] Naftali Bennett continues to crush the Jewish character and hurt the feelings of the majority of the Jewish nation. It is an embarrassment that a religious person such as [Yamina MK] Nir Orbach continues to serve as a supporter of a coalition whose entire being is the destruction of the Jewish religion and the erosion of its character."