A ‘roadmap’ to boost boost links between Israel and Diaspora Jews has been endorsed by Reuven Rivlin at a Jerusalem ceremony featuring Grammy winner Jess Glynn.
Israel’s head of state backed the ‘Declaration of Our Common Destiny’ during a virtual event on Thursday night, during which the British-Jewish Grammy winner’s image was projected onto the old city walls, alongside Israeli star Idan Raichel.
The declaration, initiated by Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG) to lay out a ‘roadmap for the Jewish future’, is intended to halt the drift between Israeli and Diaspora Jews, and “prioritise common ground”, amid a warning of “alienation and indifference” between Jews in and outside Israel. The venture has had the input of tens of thousands of Jews around the world through an online survey.
At the ‘Illuminate: A Global Jewish Unity’ event‘, President Rivlin called “upon all of our brothers and sisters in Israel and around the world to respond to this call for unity, for dialogue, for mutual responsibility”.
He urged Jews around the world to “join us in this dialogue that’s based upon mutual respect, good will and the search for common ground and common destiny”.
Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined senior cabinet officials in signing the declaration. Other signatories include future Defence Minister Benny Gantz, Omer Yankelevich, who is responsible for Diaspora Affairs, and Knesset member Naftali Bennett
It was also signed by Mikhail Fridman, the co-founder and trustee of GPG, which launched Our Common Destiny initiative in partnership with the Israeli Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, under the auspices of Rivlin’s office.
Fridman said: “While Jewish communities around the globe battle COVID, we are also plagued by another disease, which began long before the pandemic and shows no signs of recovery. This ailment of discord, of conflict, of ever-shrinking common ground threatens the very survival of Jewish peoplehood. I fear that for the first time we are facing the real risk of losing the meaning of the basic tenet of our existence – mutual responsibility.
“Those who sign the Declaration” he said, “sign a contract with themselves and with our people. This contract must be fulfilled through action – a determined effort to improve our unity, to find new ways to help and contribute to each other, to learn from each other, to listen – really listen – to each other.”
Our Common Destiny CEO Sanford Cardin said the declaration “will shape how the Jewish people relate, empower, and engage with one another now and for generations to come”, adding that “Jewish unity has always found its expression in Jewish efforts for a common good”.
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