Central Conference of American Rabbis Mourns Shimon Peres, ז״ל
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
The Central Conference of American Rabbis grieves today, as Reform rabbis and the communities we serve reflect on the life and death of former Israeli President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres, may his memory be a blessing.
President Peres was a visionary rodef shalom, a seeker of peace. In partnership with Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, ז״ל, Peres was the architect of the Oslo Peace process, which garnered him a share in the Nobel Peace Prize. Though he grieved the failure of the Oslo peace process, he never gave up on its promise. He articulated that vision to the CCAR when we gathered in convention in Jerusalem in 1995, imagining a Middle East Common Market that would have brought prosperity to both Israel and its Arab neighbors.
In his most recent public service, Peres brought energy and purpose that transformed Israel's presidency from a ceremonial post into the conscience of a nation. He championed Israel's minority populations as well as its high-tech advances, speaking about nanotechnology with facility and enthusiasm. From Israel's earliest days -- when he was secretary to the State's founding Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, ז״ל -- to Israel's maturity as "Start Up Nation," Shimon Peres was a key actor in the Jewish State's growth and maturation.
Reform rabbis particularly celebrate President Peres' support for progressive Judaism, both in Israel and abroad. He was deeply devoted to Jewish religious pluralism and advocated for equal rights for all streams and expressions of Judaism.
We pray with faith that Shimon Peres may rest In peace, his soul bound up with all the righteous who went before him. May his grieving family be comforted among all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. And may his memory be a blessing. זיכרונו לברכה
Rabbi Denise L. Eger Rabbi Steven A. Fox
President Chief Executive
Central Conference of American Rabbis