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The next president and prime minister of Israel attended the same NY synagogue

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10.06.2021

I woke up on June 2nd to the realization that my synagogue, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, had attained a unique distinction: the new president and the next prime minister of the State of Israel were both former congregants. The new president, Isaac Herzog, had been a congregant from 1975-1978, while his father, Chaim, was Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations; and he attended our sister institution, the Ramaz School, of which he is a graduate. (Herzog was, fittingly enough, elected president of the Ramaz GO in his senior year.) As a teenager, he was very involved in the synagogue and is remembered for being an exceptional reader of the Torah and Megillot. Herzog has remained close to the community, and was honored at the 2015 Ramaz dinner. Naftali Bennett, who is slated to be the next Prime Minister, was a regular attendee of the KJ Beginner’s Service from 2004-2006, when he and his wife, Gilat, lived on the Upper East Side. He was extremely engaged in the lively study discussions at the service, and Rabbi Elie Weinstock, who was then the congregation’s associate rabbi, recalls the Yom Kippur when Naftali and Gilat sang the moving Kibbutz Beit Hashita melody for Unetaneh Tokeph during the afternoon break at the........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)


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