The Knesset’s Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee held a debate today on “contacts with Israeli communities abroad.”
Among those present were committee chairman Einat Wilf, government secretary Tzvi Hauser, and Rabbi Menachem Kutner of the Chabad Youth Organization, sent by Agudas Chassidei Chabad to represent the Chabad point of view.
Rabbi Shai Chernivsky, Chabad’s outside liaison, arranged this in order to strengthen Chabad’s connection with the government authorities.
At the debate, Rabbi Kutner explained the Rebbe’s position on how a connection with the Land of Israel needs to be based on Jewish educational values. He also spoke about his most recent visit to the Chabad community for Israelis in Manhattan as the head of a delegation of IDF wounded. One of the most moving parts of his visit was to a kindergarten for the children of Israelis now living in New York. In the merit of their Jewish education, these children have remained connected to Judaism and Israel and have even encouraged their parents to return to their traditions.
Many of the members of the committee said that they identified with Rabbi Kutner’s approach very much.