Thursday, January 15, 2015

Rabbi Lau Visits San Diego

On Tuesday, January 13, Rabbi David Lau, Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of Israel, visited the San Diego Jewish community. The event was sponsored by the Jewish Federation of San Diego County and our community partners at the University City Chabad. Both organizations were thrilled to welcome the Chief Rabbi, a welcome voice as we reflect on the terrible violence in France.

The Rabbi’s visit was cathartic and healing for our saddened Jewish community. More than 300 San Diegans showed up to attend the rescheduled event, to mourn as a community, and to listen Rabbi Lau discuss his role and personal life experience as one of Israel’s Chief Rabbis.

Before speeches began, the crowd stood to recite the mourners prayer and candles were lit in honor of the four fallen French Jews. Following the remembrance service, Don Schlesinger, Federation’s Senior Director of Community Partnerships, gave an opening speech thanking the Rabbis and the community for attending the event and coming together in solidarity. Schlesinger described the integral work and programs of Federation and thanked Chabad of University City for hosting and organizing the event. Rabbi Eliza Burke, President of San Diego Rabbinical Association, then offered some moving remarks regarding the power and resilience of Jewish communities throughout the world.

Rabbi Lau began the discussion by condemning the horrific attacks on French Jews. He proceeded to talk about Jewish communities in North America and Israel, a decrease in worldwide Jewish affiliation, and major influences in his personal life and career. The moderator emphasized and reiterated Rabbi Lau being the second youngest Rabbi elected as a Chief Rabbi of Israel while highlighting Lau’s personal goal of reaching out to a diverse array of Jewish communities around the world in an effort to create global Jewish community inclusiveness.

“Overall, this was a meaningful and heartfelt event that brought San Diego’s diverse Jewish community together as one,” said Don Schlesinger. “Federation hopes to continue to promote inclusiveness by emphasizing the great many values and traditions that all Jews in San Diego county share regardless of diverse backgrounds and affiliations. “

We are pleased to sponsor the event and extend a sincere toda raba to Rabbi Lau and Chabad of University City for attending and orchestrating the highly symbolic, meaningful, and moving evening.

Read more coverage of this momentous event at San Diego Jewish World


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