First Day Highlights from the Next Conference (or who needs J Street?)

GOP WHIP ERIC CANTOR, ISRAELI AMBASSADOR MICHAEL OREN AND OTHER DISTINGUISHED SPEAKERS OPEN 2009 GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Nov. 8, 2009

More than 3,000 participants attended the opening of the 2009 UJC General Assembly in Washington, D.C. today, which began with a plenary featuring Republican Whip Eric Cantor, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren and a host of other distinguished speakers.

“Now more than ever, your leadership enriches our country’s moral fabric by adding the deep-rooted Jewish traditions of community, tzedakah, tikkun olam and helping those who are in need,” Rep. Cantor said.

He urged delegates to take a stand against growing anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in the world. “Federation has always been in the forefront of our struggle – and you must continue the fight. I and millions like us – of many faiths, cultures, and political persuasions – await your leadership before it is too late.”

Ambassador Oren also called upon participants to join together in the struggle against those who seek to destroy Israel. “Israel depends on the strength and support of the Jewish people,” he said. “Our ability to withstand the weapon of delegitimazation depends on our being united. Whenever Jews remained united, we overcame unspeakable challenges and flourished.”

The opening plenary focused on the theme, “Remember when you thought anything was possible? It still is.”

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Alas, for all our involvement in Monday night’s program, The GA fails to list the Washington DCJCC or Theater J as a destination or attraction or as a highlighted place to visit on the special page of recommended sites from 2009 GA Co-Chair and Jewish Federation of Greater Washington officer, Dede Feinberg called “Dede’s D.C. Page.” She does list The National Zoological Park, the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington and Sixth and I Historic Synagogue. But no Washington DCJCC, nor Theater J’s Lost in Yonkers. Call me slighted, but I think we gotta get Dede to the theater, don’t you?