WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama will address a Washington congregation to mark Jewish American Heritage Month.
White House spokesman Eric Schultz, announcing the president’s schedule for next week, said that next Friday, May 22, Obama would speak at Adas Israel, a Conservative movement synagogue in the city’s northwest quadrant.
“On Friday, The president will travel to the congregation of Adas Israel, one of the largest congregations here in Washington, to deliver remarks in celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month, which recognizes contributions of Jewish Americans to American society and culture,” Schultz said Friday.
Obama’s visit would be during the daytime, and would not coincide with Sabbath eve services, an Adas congregant said.
The announcement of the visit comes as the White House gears up a charm offensive targeting American Jews and Israelis in the wake of months of tensions between the Israeli and American governments.
Referring in a Thursday news conference to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new right-wing government, Obama said the prospect of peace “seems quite distant now.”
Obama’s May 22 visit to the synagogue coincides with the “Solidarity Sabbath,” an initiative of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice that calls on world leaders to show solidarity with victims of anti-Semitism.
Twelve members of the US Congress and a number of European ambassadors will attend synagogues on May 22 and participate in other activities to show their concern about anti-Semitism.
The Lantos Foundation is named for the late Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor elected to Congress. Lantos, a California Democrat, was noted for his focus on human rights and chaired the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee in 2007-08.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.