WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will consult with Jewish leaders on the eve of Rosh Hashanah.
Obama will speak with rabbis in a conference call Tuesday in what appears set to become an annual tradition. Last year, Obama reached out to rabbis to solicit support for his health care reform package.
There is no word on what this year’s topic will be, but one focus is likely to be soliciting U.S. Jewish support for Israeli concessions likely to arise out of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations renewed last week.
Biden will meet Jewish leaders at his residence Tuesday evening for a pre-holiday reception.
Obama released a statement Tuesday afternoon marking the holiday.
"Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the spiritual calendar and the birth of the world," he said. "It serves as a reminder of the special relationship between God and his children, now and always. And it calls us to look within ourselves — to repent for our sins; recommit ourselves to prayer; and remember the blessings that come from helping those in need."
Obama used the occasion to appeal for support for the negotiations.
"At a time when Israelis and Palestinians have returned to direct dialogue, it is up to us to encourage and support those who are willing to move beyond their differences and work towards security and peace in the Holy Land," he said. "Progress will not come easy, it will not come quick."