UK Chief Rabbi Praises Bennett’s Coalition for Promoting Jewish Unity

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is setting an important example by uniting different parts of Israeli society in his government, UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis told him at a meeting after Bennett left the UN Conference on Change. Weather in Glasgow on Tuesday.

Mirvis wished Bennett a yashar koach, congratulations on forming his diverse governing coalition, a source said at the meeting. The rabbi said that Bennett’s focus on unity is a Kiddush Hashem, a sanctification of God’s name and what the world needs.

Bennett’s government includes a variety of political views, from his own right-wing Yamina party, to the far-left Meretz party, as well as an Islamist party, Ra’am. It does not include religious parties, although Bennett himself and other members of the coalition are Orthodox.

The Prime Minister and Chief Rabbi discussed polarization in the world and the importance of promoting unity, in Israel and between Israel and Diaspora Jews.

“We are Jews; we are one, ”Bennett told the rabbi. “I see Israel as responsible for all the Jews in the world, period. When a Jew in the world suffers, I suffer “.

They also discussed the climate conference and Israel’s contribution to fighting climate change, including the interest of world leaders in learning and using Israeli technology.

Jewish values ​​teach us to do good, to get involved in the world and to change it for the better, Mirvis told Bennett.

They also discussed the role British Jewry plays in wider British society and how to strengthen ties between British Jewry and Israel.

Bennett and Mirvis were instantly connected by their deep desire for unity, the source said at the meeting, and the prime minister felt empowered by the meeting and the rabbi’s words. The meeting reinforced his will to do good to the Jewish people and not just the Jewish state.

EcoSynagogue booth (credit: Lahav Harkov)

After the meeting, Bennett tweeted that he was “of special importance” and called Mirvis “a man of great depth and unique insight.”

“British Jews are a shining example of how to turn Jewish values ​​into actions that strengthen both the community and society at large,” he said.

Also at COP26, as the climate conference is called, there was a booth for the EcoSynagogue initiative, in partnership with the British Jewish Board of Deputies.

EcoSynagogue analyzes synagogue buildings and sets goals for communities to move towards net zero carbon.

Rabbis representing the UK’s four major Jewish denominations – Orthodox, Liberal, Masorti and Reform – are on the EcoSynagogue steering committee and 30 synagogues have already joined the initiative.

Rabbi David Mason, an Orthodox rabbi on the steering committee, said that climate and the environment is an issue that can unite Israelis and Diaspora Jews.

Mason interviewed Israel’s Minister of Environmental Protection Tamar Zandberg last week for an EcoSynagogue event ahead of COP26, saying “we feel like we understand each other.”

“The environment can ease tensions because it crosses many borders. It unites us through denominations,” he said.

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