Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (Orthodox Union), the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, congratulates Isaac “Buji” Herzog upon his election as Israel’s 11th president, succeeding Reuven Rivlin when his term ends next month. The president-elect won the position by a Knesset vote of 87-27 against contender Miriam Peretz, a greatly admired educator and social activist.
Mr. Herzog, a member of Israel’s Knesset for 15 years and head of its Labor Party before becoming the top official at the Jewish Agency for Israel, comes from a highly respected dynasty of religious, political and military officials: he is the grandson of Israel’s first chief Ashkenazi rabbi, Isaac Herzog, for whom he was named; the son of Israel’s sixth president, Chaim Herzog, who was also Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations and served as an IDF major general; the brother of retired IDF brigadier general Michael; and the nephew of former foreign minister Abba Eban’s wife, Suzy.
The president-elect is also an alumnus of Manhattan’s Modern Orthodox Ramaz School, which he attended in the late 1970s. As Israel’s president, Mr. Herzog will take on the role of head of state and play a key role in addressing relations between the Jewish state and American Jewry, as well as other diaspora communities.
Said Orthodox Union President Mark (Moishe) Bane:
“We send our wholehearted congratulations to President-elect Herzog and wish him the very best as he assumes this new and important role in helping shape Israel’s political landscape and its civil society. Throughout his many years of service in the Knesset, to Israel and in the Jewish Agency, Mr. Herzog has become known for his soft-spoken manner and for eschewing partisan rancor in favor of respectful engagement.”
Said Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Rabbi Moshe Hauer:
“The Orthodox Union is heavily invested in cultivating the critical relationship between American and world Jewry and the State of Israel, given the centrality of the land to the Jewish people and the critical role the modern state plays in anchoring the Jewish identity of much of Diaspora Jewry. The Orthodox Union looks forward to working with President-elect Herzog to advance this relationship for the benefit of the entire Jewish community.”