Herzog meets Prince Charles, announces nursing scholarship in honor of grandmother

President thanks British royal for ‘important work on Holocaust education,’ dedicates new Hebrew University grant to Righteous Among the Nations Princess Alice

Britain's Prince Charles, left, welcomes Israeli President Isaac Herzog at Highgrove House, Tetbury, England, Monday November 22, 2021. (Ben Birchall/Pool Photo via AP)
Britain's Prince Charles, left, welcomes Israeli President Isaac Herzog at Highgrove House, Tetbury, England, Monday November 22, 2021. (Ben Birchall/Pool Photo via AP)

On the second day of his official visit to the UK, President Isaac Herzog met Monday with Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, for a discussion centered on climate change, regional threats, and Holocaust education.

The president thanked Charles for his “personal leadership” on the environment and stressed that he has made tackling climate change a core plank of his presidency, his office said.

“He [Herzog] noted that Israel has committed to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 and has much to contribute to global efforts through its advancement of innovative green technologies,” a statement from the presidency said.

Herzog stressed “the great importance that Israel attaches to relations with the United Kingdom,” the statement said, adding that he also noted his personal affinity to Britain through his family background, “as the son of a Belfast-born British Army major who participated in the Normandy landings and liberation of Bergen-Belsen, and as the descendent of rabbis who served all across Britain.”

Herzog’s grandfather, Rabbi Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog, was the first chief rabbi of Ireland and later served as the Ashkenazi chief rabbi of British Mandate Palestine and of Israel after its independence in 1948.

The statement said that as well as discussing “regional issues and threats,” the president also thanked Charles for his “important work to promote Holocaust education and his participation in the Fifth World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem”

Charles, Prince of Wales, speaks during the Fifth World Holocaust Forum at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem, January 23, 2020 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Speaking to world leaders at the event at Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem in January 2020, Prince Charles warned of the “searingly relevant” lessons of the Holocaust while hatred and intolerance “still tell new lies, adopt new disguises, and still seek new victims.”

Charles dedicated a significant part of that speech to his own grandmother Princess Alice of Greece, who helped save a Jewish family during the Holocaust, is buried in Jerusalem, and is one of the Righteous Among the Nations memorialized at Yad Vashem.

In a “special gift” to the British royal, Herzog on Monday announced a nursing scholarship at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem dedicated to Princess Alice that the president’s office said “pays tribute to [her] compassion, deep spirituality, and immense perseverance to help those in need.”

Britain’s Prince Philip escorts his mother, Princess Alice Andreeas of Greece, in wedding procession of Princess Margarita of Baden and Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia after the religious ceremonies on June 5, 1957 at Salem, Germany. (AP Photo)

Following his meeting with Prince Charles, which was held at Highgrove House in Tetbury, Herzog headed to Westminster Palace for talks with members of parliament.

He will then meet with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and later take part in a tribute to former British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, who died last year.

On Tuesday, Herzog will sit down with Jewish leaders and then go to 10 Downing Street, the British premier’s office and residence, to meet with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

On Sunday, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich hosted Herzog at the Stamford Bridge stadium, as part of the Premier League soccer club’s campaign against antisemitism.

President Isaac Herzog (right) speaks with Chelsea FC club owner Roman Abramovich, at the team’s stadium, November 21, 2021. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

The Russian-Israeli businessman traveled to London as an Israeli citizen and spent around two hours on Sunday morning at the Imperial War Museum London to see the Holocaust Galleries he helped to fund with donations.

Herzog highlighted concerns about discrimination in sports during an address to the audience in a suite at Chelsea’s stadium.

The president and his wife are set to return to Israel on Tuesday evening.

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