Ambassador Michael Oren Addresses Congregation Beth’El in Philadelphia
On Saturday, July 23, Dr. Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, joined Congregation Temple Beth’El for Shabbat morning services during an official visit to Philadelphia. Along with Rabbi Capers
Funnye, Oren was invited to address the African-American congregation in honor of its 60-year anniversary and Debra Bowen’s 10-year anniversary as Beth’El’s rabbi.
“I was deeply moved by my experience at Beth’El,” Oren said. “Rabbi Bowen and the congregation could not have been warmer and more exuberant in their reception of my wife, Sally, and me, and in expressing their love for Israel.”
In his remarks to the congregation, Oren cited passages from the week’s Torah portion, Matot, in delivering a message of responsibility and Jewish peoplehood.
“Just like Moses’ message to the tribes of Gad and Reuven, we invite the Jewish people throughout the world to join with us in building Israel and in making peace,” he told the congregation. “We are a single people endowed with the same blessings and obligations.
“Israel belongs to us all.”
The anniversary celebrations attracted Jews from across the United States. In addition to the speeches, choirs from various communities sang as part of the prayer services.
(Tags: Rabbi Capers Funnye, Israel)