Orthodox Union (OU) Executive Vice President Rabbi Moshe Hauer and OU Israel’s leadership recently met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog where they discussed the need for increased unity between the State of Israel and American Jewry.
The meeting, which took place on Jan. 22 at President Herzog’s official residence in Jerusalem, also included OU Israel president Stuart Hershkowitz and OU Israel executive director Rabbi Avi Berman.
Rabbi Hauer affirmed President Herzog’s potential to increase unity amid increasing tensions between Israel and some American Jews, which are exacerbated by factors such as misinformation about the state of Israel and the Israeli government. He also noted the need for more dialogue, listening and inclusion.
President Herzog shared his familiarity with the OU’s myriad initiatives in Israel and internationally that lend assistance to a wide range of the Israeli population. OU Israel offers programs such as The Pearl and Harold Jacobs Zula Outreach Center (The Zula) in Jerusalem, which provides emotional assistance and direction for at-risk teenagers; Jack E. Gindi Oraita clubs, a network of 20 youth centers in development towns across the country; and OU-JLIC, which enhances Jewish life on campus at Reichman, Tel Aviv, and Bar-Ilan universities.
At the meeting, President Herzog praised the OU for its contributions to education and its help in building Jewish identity. The OU’s support, the president added, helps enhance his country’s efforts to continue fostering dialogue and unity between Israel and the United States.
The OU delegates thanked the president for his work on behalf of the Jewish people, and President Herzog presented Rabbi Hauer with a book written by the president’s grandfather, Rabbi Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog. Inside the book, “Heichal Yitzchak,” the president inscribed a note stating the gift was a mark of friendship and appreciation. Rabbi Hauer was the first person to receive the newly printed book.
Read the statement from President Herzog’s office in Hebrew and an English translation here.