Worldwide rabbis gather in Jerusalem – Arutz Sheva

Posted By on January 2, 2020

16th annual conference of rabbis and community leaders

Arutz Sheva

The World Conference for Rabbis and Leaders of Jewish Diaspora Communities from the World Zionist Organization's Center for Religious Affairs in the Diaspora opened today in Jerusalem.

About 150 leaders from 40 countries convened for 3 days of discussions on religion and state, anti-Semitism, the modern family, and more.

On the first day, Israel's Chief Rabbi David Lau, Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz, President of the Consistory in France, Dr. Joel Margi, Head of the Diaspora Brigade at the Foreign Ministry Akiva Tor and more attended.

World Zionist Organization Center for Religious Affairs in the Diaspora Executive Director Ilan Frydman told Arutz Sheva that "we have rabbis from forty countries, there are 189 rabbis in the conference.

Frydman explained the vital role the conference plays in dispelling the perception of isolation and dissimilarity felt in many diaspora communities: "Every time I meet rabbis out of Israel, they tell me 'My community's different.' And I don't want to tell them, 'Your community's actually just like the other different one, and you're both different in the same way.' I don't tell them that until they come here and get together. Then they actually see we're running the same challenges, and we can share the problems and share the solutions."

Increasing attacks on Jews in diaspora communities is an unavoidable subject in a conference of this nature, and, while many authorities have defined that anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism go hand in hand, Frydman claims "Anti-Semitism is of course raising all around the world, and often it's not really anti-Semitisim, it's anti-Zionism and anti-Israel." Frydman went on: "As soon as Israel becomes a more and more dominant power around the world or takes more and more action around the world, the rest of the world are aggressively attacking back."

"The rabbi's' role here is first of all they're calming down the communities", Frydman continued, "The way we respond is not to bring violence back to violence. We're bringing happy faces and we're trying to share thoughts with other people around the world."

His message to the Jews of Israel: "It's important that we all understand that people in the diaspora do care about Israel, are interested in what's going on in Israel, and want to be involved in what goes on in Israel.

"It's not only a question of 'yes aliyah/no aliyah'. Obviously the next step will be, the more they want to be involved, the more they want to come. Often our solution is let's strengthen the communities abroad, because the stronger people abroad are those who want to make aliyah later."

Today conference participants tour Samaria led by Maj. Gen. Uzi Dayan.

See the rest here:
Worldwide rabbis gather in Jerusalem - Arutz Sheva

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