President of Jewish Federation talks US-Israel ties

i24NEWS

2 min read
Eric D. Fingerhut, President & CEO of The Jewish Federations of North America talks to i24NEWS in Tel Aviv, Israel, January 13, 2022.
i24NEWSEric D. Fingerhut, President & CEO of The Jewish Federations of North America talks to i24NEWS in Tel Aviv, Israel, January 13, 2022.

'Nothing's going to break our love and bond for Israel'

The President and CEO of the Jewish Federation sat down with i24NEWS to talk about Israel-diaspora relationships after two years of on-and-off border closures due to the spread of Covid. 

"Nothing's going to break our love and bond for Israel," said Eric D. Fingerhut, soothing fears that the damage caused by Israel's travel bans was irreparable. 

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"But it's important for Israeli officials and the public to understand how important travel is to the Jewish community in the diaspora." 

Fingerhut mentioned the importance of trips to Israel in Jewish and Zionist education and identity. 

"They're so powerful and so successful in building Jewish identity and building love of Israel." 

The Jewish Federation of North America encompasses 146 communities and maintains 43 travel programs to Israel, covering all sectors of society. The Federation is working with the travel programs and the government to restart. 

When asked if Covid had a dire impact on the program, he responded, "Whether it's our day-schools or our services for seniors, people lost their jobs... We were really at risk of having this entire Jewish enterprise collapse." 

Discussing the relationship between the US and Israeli governments, Fingerhut stated that the governments are doing a good job remaining in conversation, even regarding difficult talks such as Iran.

"Whether that means they end up agreeing or not has yet to be seen."