Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

6 Teves 5763 - December 11, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











White House Opens Doors to Orthodox Jewish Leaders
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

Rabbis and executives of Agudath Israel, the Orthodox Union, and the Rabbinical Council of America joined other Jewish religious and communal representatives in a meeting with President George W. Bush at the White House on Wednesday afternoon, 6 Teves-December 11.

At the afternoon meeting, which lasted approximately 45 minutes, the President warmly welcomed the Jewish leaders and addressed a number of issues close to their hearts. He also allowed ample time for questions and comments from the assembled rabbis and lay leaders.

The Agudath Israel attendees included the organization's executive vice president, Rabbi Shmuel Bloom; its executive vice president for government and public affairs, Chaim Dovid Zwiebel; and its vice president for finance and administration, Rabbi Shlomo Gertzulin. Also attending the meeting were Agudath Israel of America congregational rabbis Rabbi Asher Eisenberger of Detroit, Michigan and Rabbi Menachem Greenblatt of St. Louis, Missouri.

That evening, those organizational and religious leaders, along with three other Agudath Israel congregational rabbis -- Rabbi Pinchas Breuer, of Brooklyn, New York; Rabbi Yaakov Reisman, of Queens, New York; and Rabbi Avrohom Teichman, of Los Angeles, California -- as well as Abba Cohen, Agudath Israel's Washington Office director and counsel, were among approximately 200 Jewish communal representatives who joined President and Mrs. Bush for a Chanukah gathering in the White House.

Mr. Zwiebel noted the steps the White House took to accommodate the Orthodox visitors. "I found it significant and impressive that President and Mrs. Bush were aware that many Orthodox men don't shake hands with women, or Orthodox women with men, and that they took care to greet their Orthodox guests accordingly."

"It was an honor to participate in this dialogue with President Bush," said Rabbi Bloom. "His clear vision, his firm resolve, his strong leadership, his heartfelt faith -- all of these qualities, and more, shone through the entire meeting."


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