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Gov. Polis welcomes 2,500 at JNF Global Conference


Jared Polis addressed the opening plenary of the JNF-USA Global Conference for Israel on Nov. 30 as the governor of Colorado, as a Jew and a supporter of Israel.

JNF-USA President Sol Lizerbram presents Gov. Polis with a ‘Be Inscribed’ plaque indicating that the Torah portion Yayerah has been inscribed in a new Torah scroll in the governor’s honor.

He welcomed the 2,500 attendees from around the world to Colorado. “We’re known for our world-class mountains, our vibrant, artsy culture and our incredible food.”

He also said, “Colorado is known for standing shoulder-to-shoulder against hate.

“This is a profoundly difficult time. Oct. 7 is a date that will be forever etched in history for Israel and the world as a demonstration of abject cruelty and hatred, the killing and kidnapping of innocent civilians, men, women, and children in Israel by the terrorist organization.

“Hamas is a nightmare brought to life, and I know that for so many of us, this has been incredibly personal.”

“It’s heartbreaking to put into words the suffering experienced by children . . . what’s happening to them.”

The pain of what happened on Oct. 7, Polis said, is made worse by the rise in anti-Semitism and hate in America and across the world.

“The anti-Semitic demons of old we all hoped that we vanquished are now fueled by social media being used to amplify dangerous rhetoric and misinformation.”

“My great-grandparents came to this country in the early 20th century to escape the persecution and violence and the vicious cycle that’s taken so many lives throughout our history, most recently in these heinous attacks.

“If anyone asks, why the world needs a Jewish state of Israel, the reason is more self-evident than ever before.”

The governor acknowledged the comfort provided by Jews coming together at times like this.

“Our greatest strength is our ability to stand together to support the people of Israel in their time of need, to be an example of hope in life that others can follow, and to stand against hate in all of its forms.

“Together we can and we must fight all forms of hatred with relentless courage and steadfast determination so that one day our children and their children can know a world without this pain and suffering.”

Polis wished the conference well. “I look forward to the conversations ahead. I’m honored that they’re occurring in our great state of Colorado.”

Copyright © 2023 by the Intermountain Jewish News

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