Jewish Federation CEO Speaks at Israel’s Independence Day Celebration

Jerusalem, Israel—The Israeli government chose Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh CEO Jeff Finkelstein to represent Pittsburgh and worldwide Jewry at Israel’s national celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day). He spoke in Hebrew this evening at the nationally televised event. The following is a translation:

The host introducing Mr. Finkelstein said, “The members of the Tree of Life * Or L’Simcha Congregation and New Light Congregation of the Conservative movement and Congregation Dor Hadash of the Reconstructionist Movement in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania were in the middle of Shabbat morning prayers when an anti-Semitic terrorist burst into their synagogue and killed eleven of their congregants.

“Jeff Finkelstein, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, led the efforts to help the community cope and to rebuild the Jewish community after the murderous attack. He even established a Victims of Terror Fund for the victims from the mosque attack in New Zealand. This came from a Jewish commitment to mutual responsibility and love for others which crosses borders. Jeff will carry the torch in honor of the Jewish communities in the Diaspora, who continue to spread light and hope.”

I, Jeff, Jacob Zvi, Ben Nissan Hanoch and Hinda Reizel Finkelstein, carry this torch in honor of the eleven victims who loved the Land of Israel and the People of Israel with all their hearts and souls and who died in the sanctification of G-d’s name. It is in honor of the fate and purpose, which will never be disconnected, between the Israeli society and Jews of the Diaspora from all denominations and all opinions. We are brothers! It is in honor of our Jewish schlichut (mission) against the bad and to increase the good. To the glory of the State of Israel!

Jeffrey H. Finkelstein, President & CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

Watch the moment that Jeff lights the torch (start at 1 hour and 8 minutes)



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