OPINION – President Rivlin: Help write a Megillah to shape our Jewish future
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here
Analysis

OPINION – President Rivlin: Help write a Megillah to shape our Jewish future

Writing exclusively for Jewish News, Israel’s head of state reflects on how some of the world’s greatest thinkers have spent this week trying to define what it means to be a Jew

President Reuven Rivlin

This week, in Jerusalem, the capital of the Israel and the heart of the Jewish people, I received a draft of the Declaration of Our Common Destiny.

The document, a roadmap for future relations between the Jewish people around the world, is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, the Genesis Philanthropy Group and Beit HaNasi.

The paper was presented by more than 30 top thinkers from Israel and across the world, from all shades of the spectrum of Jewish life, and I want to thank them and the initiators of the project for being part of this important effort.

Friends, the miracle of the Jewish people is not only that we survived for thousands of years. The real miracle is that, despite the fact that we were spread all over the world, speak different languages, and developed different traditions, we always were one people. Despite our differences, we re-mained bound by our shared history, our core values and beliefs, our Book of Books, and our commitment to improving the world.

It helped that our enemies always saw us as one people. Our enemies didn’t differentiate between one stream of Judaism and another: for them we are all Jews.

Today, we face a different kind of challenge. Communities around the world have integrated successfully into their home countries. This has created new challenges to identity and to the Jewish people.

The future of the Jewish people depends on three things: preserving our core values, traditions and identity; mutual respect for our differences; and mutual responsibility to each other. We must embrace our unity and our diversity. Our diversity not as a source of weakness, but a source of strength.

Dear friends, when I say that the future of the Jewish people depends on preserving our identity, mutual respect, and mutual recognition, I also mean the future of the State of Israel. As a Jewish and democratic state, Israel is essential for the survival of the Jewish people. In the same way, a thriving Jewish people, our fifth tribe, is essential for the survival of the State of Israel.

Today is just the start of the journey. From here, the paper will go on a Jewish ‘world tour’.

I look forward to welcoming it back to Jerusalem after it has been enriched by all the different colours that make up the Jewish family.

If we embrace our diversity while cherishing our shared history, it can truly serve as a set of principles for our common destiny – a roadmap for the future of the Jewish people.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments