President Obama offered a Rosh Hashanah greeting to hundreds of U.S. rabbis on a conference call earlier this week, where he also discussed global anti-Semitism, ISIS, and Iran’s nuclear threat. JTA reports that nearly 900 rabbis called in for the off-the-record conversation.
According to a White House statement about the call, Obama spoke about “his commitment to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and our collective responsibility to respond to the sharp increase in global anti-Semitism.”
“He also reaffirmed his unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security, his support for Iron Dome,” the anti-missile system Israel used to deflect rocket attacks during Israel’s war this summer with Hamas, “as well as his support of a sustainable peace through a two-state agreement.”
Obama also offered his annual Rosh Hashanah video message. “In synagogues and homes over the coming days, Jews will reflect on a year that carried its share of challenges,” he says. “We’ve been reminded many times that our world still needs repair.” He references the “scourge of anti-Semitism” and the United States’ “unshakeable alliance” with Israel, and then offers a pretty convincing “Shanah Tovah.”
Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.