President Obama and the American Jewish Community

An Exciting Week in American Jewish Life

Last week was quite an exciting one. I started off in my hometown, speaking to the Agudath Israel of America Legislative Breakfast in New York City. The breakfast focused on the safety and security of the Jewish community and featured many exciting speakers, including Members of Congress, local elected officials, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, the FDNY Commissioner and members of the NYPD. The participants spoke of the collective partnership that is necessary to ensure that the Jewish community is safe from threats as well as resilient to deal with emergencies, no matter the cause.   

From New York, I headed west to Denver for the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), where I had the opportunity to meet with JFNA professional and lay leadership as well as dozens of organizations that do work within the Federation system spanning the breath of Jewish North America. From organizations selling Challah to fight hunger, to ones helping to settle immigrants in America, I was struck by the overwhelming sense of commitment to tikun olam. Repairing the world, a central Jewish value dating to biblical times, has inspired innovation to help solve modern day problems.   

While I mentioned it in a previous blog entry, I would be remiss if I did not recognize the contributions of our Veterans, who we honored last week. Just four weeks ago, we dedicated a monument to Jewish Chaplains who died while in the service. To them, and all who have served, we say thank you for all that you have done and all that you do. 

Jarrod Bernstein is an Associate Director in the Office of Public Engagement.


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