OU Welcomes Mayor of Itamar, Spreading Message of Resilience

April 1, 2011

AM YISRAEL CHAI! ORTHODOX UNION RECEIVES VISIT FROM MAYOR OF ITAMAR, ISRAEL — SPREADING MESSAGE OF JEWISH RESILIENCE, UNITY AND SUPPORT

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From left: OU President Dr. Simcha Katz welcomed Rabbi Moshe Goldsmith, Mayor of the Israeli community of Itamar, and his wife, Mrs. Leah Goldsmith.

The Orthodox Union received a special visit yesterday from Rabbi Moshe Goldsmith, the Mayor of the Israeli community of Itamar, and his wife, Leah. The Goldsmiths recorded a video to be sent to OU shuls across North America with their message of encouragement and hope following the recent tragedy in their community.

Additionally, the OU has established the “OU Victims of Terrorism Fund” in response to the recent horrific murder of Itamar residents Rabbi Ehud and Ruth Fogel and three of their children, 11-year-old Yoav, four-year-old Eldad, and three-month-old Hadas.

The Goldsmiths, natives of Brooklyn who made aliyah to Israel 25 years ago, have travelled to the United States to share the story of the Itamar community — their original travel plans doubled in two weeks, as they are already in demand to visit 50 schools or community organizations around the greater New York Metropolitan area. Declared Rabbi and Mrs. Goldsmith in the video, “We would like to express our deep gratitude for the amazing love and support shown to us in Itamar. Not expecting to leave our home and Israel so soon following our tragedy, we felt there was a greater need by our fellow Jews in America to hear the story of Itamar and where it is in the heart of Israel.”

The purpose of the OU video is to bring their message beyond the New York Metropolitan area.

They continued, “We have been amazed by the waves of ahavat chinam [outpouring of kindness] by Jews of all backgrounds. We must realize that this is not a personal tragedy for the residents of Itamar — it is a tragedy for the people of Israel, as we are one nation, one people. These wonderful children and their wonderful parents are crying from the heavens above demanding that every Jew wakes up — that he can make a difference for Israel and for the future of Israel; and he must continue building, strengthening our communities, and being part of Israel.”

“People ask what they can do to help and the number one thing we can say is to come and visit Itamar. Put us on the map when you come to visit. Come see the beautiful hills, get connected and learn about the people and the history — it is as much your homeland as it is ours.”

The Goldsmiths concluded, “To remember the Fogels we must remember the dream they had, and that dream was to build the land — we must be strong and move forward.”

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