The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
President Obama celebrated the values of communities petitioning government at a White House reception honoring Jewish American Heritage Month.
“We don’t just celebrate all that American Jews have done for our country; we also look toward the future,” he said. “And as we do, I know that those of you in this room, but folks all across this country will continue to help perfect our union; and for that, I am extraordinarily grateful.”
Obama focused a large portion of his remarks on the 150th anniversary of an order that was issued by General Ulysses Grant, which expelled Jews “as a class” from the military department of Tennessee.
“It was wrong. Even if it was 1862, even if official acts of anti-Semitism were all too common around the world, it was wrong and indicative of an ugly strain of thought,” Obama said.
He went on to note that American Jews protested the order.
“What happened next could have only taken place in America,” he said. “Groups of American Jews protested General Grant’s decision.”
He described how a Jewish merchant from Kentucky who met with President Abraham Lincoln and following the meeting, the order was revoked.
“Like so many groups, Jews have had to fight for their piece of the American dream,” Obama said. “But this country holds a special promise: that if we stand up for the traditions we believe in and in the values we share, then our wrongs can be made right; our union can be made more perfect and our world can be repaired.”
The order by Lincoln to revoke Grant’s order was on display during the reception, as were letters from two Jewish groups asking for the revocation.
Years later, as president, Grant stated that he recognized his mistake and would apologize for the order, and a receipt for contribution to the Adas Israel congregation – which still exists – after attending an 1876 service was also on display.
President Obama opened his remarks by thanking Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren for “his work representing our great friend, the state of Israel” before emphasizing the significance of the U.S. commitment to Israel.
“Beyond our borders, we have to stand alongside our friends who share our commitment to freedom and democracy and universal rights; and that includes, of course, our unwavering commitment to the State of Israel and its security and the pursuit of a just and lasting peace,” Obama said in his remarks.
A number of Jewish members of Congress were present at the reception, including Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Berman (D-Calif.), Shelley Berkley (D-N.V.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Susan Davis (D-Calif.), Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Sander Levin (D-Mich.), Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.).
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
A yeshiva student from Jerusalem was found lifeless Thursday after he apparently drowned while swimming in nearby Beit Zayit.
PM Netanyahu warns FIFA that Palestinian blackmail will ultimately kill the international soccer federation which hopes to expel Israel from the group.
Another surgery is needed. Please daven for Aryeh ben Rina.
A cyber security breach into the IRS computer system has been traced back to Russia. Cost; $50 million-plus.
The temperature has been scorching hot for the past couple of days. And that’s been setting off brush fires. There have been massive fires, big fires and little fires all over the country. Some homes near Beit Shemesh were evacuated last night due to the approaching fires. As if it wasn’t hot enough outside.
The U.S. State Dept. had a difficult time explaining what the Quartet has ever accomplished except spending money.
Former New York Gov. George Pataki is the latest Republican to throw his hat in the crowed GOP ring of presidential hopefuls. He declared his candidacy in a video post Thursday morning and touted his actions as governor following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. “We need to recapture that spirit, that sense that we are one […]
A former of official of the same FIFA, which is considering expelling Israel, blamed “Zionism” for a bribe charge in 2011.
The South Carolina senator may run to be the Republican presidential nominee but has little chance of winning.
The request comes out to $4.1 billion a year starting from 2017, 10 percent more than the current military aid.
The firm’s Jewish co-founders handed out $1,500 worth of ice cream at Sander’s presidential campaign event in Vermont on Wednesday.
The Hareidi politicians agreed to not protest the country club after the mayor agreed to move it. So much for agreements.
Does the popularity of smoking grass mean that is good for the soul?
More than 20 cars and buildings in a Jewish community in north London were vandalized with swastikas. The Nazi symbol was drawn on approximately 27 cars in the Osbaldeston Road area of Stoke Newington on Sunday night, The Daily Mail reported. An unnamed 32-year-old man was arrested in connection with the vandalism Tuesday. The neighborhood […]
New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind called on the Jewish community to attend the funeral of an assassinated New York police officer. “The brave men and women of the NYPD risk their lives every day to protect us. We value them and stand with them,” Hikind, a Democrat who represents Brooklyn, said in a statement […]
“Move Jew” scrawled on a Philadelphia home and slurs written on a synagogue and 10 garages in Chicago.
Cuba has “the largest pool of untapped baseball talent in the world, and Major League Baseball may tap and leave Cuba dry.
Argentina’s president Christina Fernandez has accepted an official Jewish godson for the first time in the country’s history to help counter legend of death to a seventh son. She described in seven tweets her meeting with her new godson, Yair Tawil, a member of a Chabad-Lubavitch family. He was adopted as a godson under a […]
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-celebrates-jewish-petitioning-of-government/2012/05/31/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: