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Israel Chief Rabbi Urges Stronger Religious Ties for U.S. Jewry

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Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Isser Yehuda Unterman of Israel called tonight for “a spiritual alliance” between American Jewry and Israel. “The future survival of the Jewish communities throughout the world rests upon the powerful religious ideals which link Jewish communities to one another,” he said. He was the guest speaker at the annual national dinner of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America.

Addressing more than 1, 000 guests and delegates, the Chief Rabbi stated: “The bridge between American and Israel Jewry must be based on the values and concepts of the Torah. Our common faith constitutes the fundamental link between our Jewries, in the wide ramifications of their association. A stronger spiritual alliance between Israel and the Jewish communities in the Diaspora would give greater cohesion and strength especially to the isolated communities throughout the world, resulting in higher religious standards and intensified observance of the Jewish religious law.”

The Chief Rabbi hailed the fact that “many young people, born and bred in America, who came to Israel for a short stay, were so attracted by the spiritual atmosphere of the Holy Land and especially of its yeshivot that they prolonged their stay for many years and, upon their return to the United States, became powerful forces in the current renaissance of Torah living in this country.” He expressed the hope that “Israel will continue to be a strong outpost of true freedom and democracy in our periled times.”

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