CONTACT: Samantha Friedman, Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications
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NEW YORK – In response to the U.S. State Department’s announcement today that Secretary of State John Kerry has brought Israeli and Palestinian leadership together to meet in Washington to resume peace talks, scheduled to begin Monday, July 29, the Rabbinical Assembly, the international umbrella organization for Conservative rabbis, released the following statement:
RA president Rabbi Gerald Skolnik said,
“On behalf of the 1,700 rabbis of the Rabbinical Assembly, we join with people around the world in applauding Prime Minister Netanyahu for his fortitude and vision in making tough decisions in the name of a future of peace, and we congratulate President Abbas for his decision to send senior envoys to the negotiating table.
“Secretary of State John Kerry has been instrumental in bringing both sides to this pivotal moment. We are appreciative of his courage and vision, and his personal commitment to push forward. We support Prime Minister Netanyahu’s commitment to Israel’s long-term security and look forward to what we hope will be a productive and meaningful road ahead.”
Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, RA executive vice president, added,
“In this moment of hope, we must also bear in mind the suffering that has brought us here and the tremendous sacrifices that so many have made already. We are grateful for an opportunity for the prize that we cherish: a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinian people. As first steps can be difficult to take with a history behind us that has included much disappointment, we imagine what an “escalating peace” in this conflict could mean not only for us, but the region and the world.”
The Rabbinical Assembly is the international association of Conservative rabbis. Since its founding in 1901, the Assembly has been the creative force shaping the ideology, programs, and practices of the Conservative movement, and is committed to building and strengthening the totality of Jewish life. Rabbis of the Assembly serve congregations throughout the world, and also work as educators, officers of communal service organizations, and college, hospital, and military chaplains. More information is available at www.rabbinicalassembly.org.