Leaders of the British Jewish community including Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism, had a private meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday 5 November.
As the Jewish News reports, community leaders heard the Israeli leader’s personal recollections of his family’s links to British Jewry, and Rabbi Janner-Klausner was able to share old family photos involving the pair’s fathers.
Rabbi Janner-Klausner brought up the concerns of some younger Diaspora Jews that Israel was losing some of its founding values, namely the connection between of Judaism and humanism.
“I said I thought some young people were concerned about some Israeli policies, and saw in this an erosion of values,” she said. “He disagreed, but amicably, and explained why he disagreed. I’m really hoping that as well as listening, he heard.”
Speaking to the Jerusalem Post, Rabbi Janner-Klausner said she was also troubled by racism within Israeli society and the government’s support for anti-democratic legislation. She explained that in the past, Netanyahu has not appeared to pay heed to their concerns on these issues.
“Netanyahu has said that he is the leader of the Jewish world. If he is the leader of the Jewish world, he needs to listen to the Jewish world,” she said.