Shalom Life | March 27, 2015

Jewish Leaders Attend Presidential Reception at White House

President Obama promises “Unwavering support for Israel”

By: David Shear

Published: June 5th, 2012 in News » World

Jewish Leaders Attend Presidential Reception at White House

In 1862, Ulysses S. Grant, then a general in the Union army, issued an order that would have expelled Jews as a class from what was known during the Civil War as the military department of Tennesee. American Jews protested, including one Jewish merchant who traveled from Kentucky to meet with President Abraham Lincoln at the White House. After the meeting, Lincoln immediately revoked the order. Grant later recognized his mistake and as the president, went out of his way to appoint Jews to office and condemn anti-Semitism across the world.

President Obama told this story to a room filled with Jewish leaders at the White House recently during a reception for Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM). On hand were several leaders from The Jewish Federations of North America.

During his speech, the president acknowledged the United States’ “unwavering” support for Israel and its security, and also praised the contributions that American Jews have made throughout history.

“Like so many groups, Jews had to fight for their piece of the American dream. But this country holds a special promise that if we stand up for the traditions we believe in, and for the values we share, then our wrongs can be made right, our union can be made more perfect and our world can be repaired,” said President Obama. “Today, we don’t just celebrate all that American Jews have done for our country, we also look toward the future.”

The reception marked the third year that President Obama has honored JAHM at the White House; past years’ events have welcomed sports great Sandy Koufax and recording artist Regina Spektor, among other notable Jews. The current administration is continuing a tradition started by President George W. Bush, who proclaimed May as JAHM in 2006.

"It was an honor to represent The Jewish Federations of North America at the White House,” said Gelman. “The President spoke about America's long-time bond with the Jewish people and our steadfast support for Israel."

The reception was attended by approximately 400 guests including rabbis, members of Congress, and leaders in the business, arts, education, and public and community service fields. Rak Shalom, a University of Maryland group of a cappella singers, also performed.

Chicago Tribune Cartoon Paints Bibi As Murderous Warmonger Chicago Tribune Cartoon Paints Bibi As Murderous Warmonger TrendingNew Orleans Student Group Launches Petition to Divest from Palestinian Authority New Orleans Student Group Launches Petition to Divest from Palestinian Authority TrendingKanye West & Kim Kardashian Are Coming to Israel Kanye West & Kim Kardashian Are Coming to Israel Trending
 

Facebook Integrates Israeli App into Messenger

March 26, 2015 | By NoCamels Team
Facebook Integrates Israeli App into Messenger

Social media giant incorporates Magisto, an app that turns photos and videos into a short animated film

Read More

Toronto's Iconic Pancer’s Deli To Reopen

March 26, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Toronto's Iconic Pancer’s Deli To Reopen

The deli, which was sold five years ago and closed earlier this year, is back in Pancer's hands and won't be leaving them any time soon

Read More

Israeli Scientists Accurately Determine The Length Of A Day On Saturn

March 26, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Israeli Scientists Accurately Determine The Length Of A Day On Saturn

Using a new technique, a team of scientists from the Tel Aviv University and the Weizmann Institute have found a way to study the passing of time in other planets of the solar system

Read More

Harvey Weinstein Takes Home Humanitarian Award, Urges Jews To Kick anti-Semites "in the Ass”

March 26, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Harvey Weinstein Takes Home Humanitarian Award, Urges Jews To Kick anti-Semites "in the Ass”

During his acceptance speech during the Simon Wiesenthal Center's National Tribute Dinner, Weinstein asked people to stand up against violence and oppression

Read More

Meet Shalom Life's Top 20 Under 40, Class of 2015

March 26, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
Meet Shalom Life's Top 20 Under 40, Class of 2015

Profiling the best and the brightest of Jewish Toronto

Read More

Jason Segel Tapped to Write/Direct New 'Lego' Movie

March 26, 2015 | By Sy Berg
Jason Segel Tapped to Write/Direct New 'Lego' Movie

Segel, who helped Disney revive 'The Muppets', will work alongside 'Iron Man 3' writer Drew Pearce

Read More

Parents, Widow of Fallen IDF Soldier Battle Over Custody of His Sperm

March 26, 2015 | By Yoram Yarkoni
Parents, Widow of Fallen IDF Soldier Battle Over Custody of His Sperm

Groundbreaking ruling awards parents of Israeli soldier right to use his sperm to father a child, despite his widow's objections

Read More

Chicago Tribune Cartoon Paints Bibi As Murderous Warmonger

March 26, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
Chicago Tribune Cartoon Paints Bibi As Murderous Warmonger

The publication allowed "the mainstreaming of incendiary lies about the leader of the Jewish state," says Simon Wiesenthal Center

Read More

More Headlines