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From Obama to Trudeau and Trump, Rosh Hashanah Greetings From Around World

While Obama cites Peres and Wiesel, Trudeau and Clinton praise virtue of Tikkun Olam in Jewish new year blessings.

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U.S. President Barack Obama in his Rosh Hashanah greeting video.
U.S. President Barack Obama in his Rosh Hashanah greeting video.Credit: Screenshot, YouTube/White House

Leaders and politicians from around the world sent Rosh Hashana greetings to Jews in Israel and abroad this week in honor of the Jewish new year.

President Barack Obama reflected on the “great privilege” of working with the Jewish community in his final Rosh Hashanah message as president.

In a video address, Obama referred to Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust memoirist and Nobel Peace laureate, and Shimon Peres, the former Israeli president and prime minister, both who died this year. He had sought advice during his two terms from both men. He also referred to his trip to Israel in 2013, where he prayed at the Western Wall, and the tradition he instituted of holding Passover seders at the White House.

“My last Rosh Hashanah in the White House is a chance to reflect on the great privilege I’ve had as president to work closely with the Jewish community,” Obama said.

“To speak at synagogues here in the United States and abroad,” he said. “To place a private prayer in the ancient cracks of the Kotel [the Western Wall]. To retell the timeless story of the Exodus at our annual White House Seders. And to walk through Buchenwald with Elie Wiesel, meet with young Israelis in Jerusalem, and present the Medal of Freedom to Shimon Peres.”

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, also delivered Rosh Hashanah greetings last week.

“All Americans should question whether we’re doing all that we can to work on ‘Tikkun Olam’ — repairing the world,” Clinton said in her message on Friday.

“That means asking ourselves if we could be doing more to help those who are hungry or in need of shelter,” she said. “If we could be doing more to make sure everyone has access to health care. And if we could be doing more to build a brighter future where no one is left out or left behind.”

Donald Trump, Clinton’s Republican rival for the presidency, in a tweet in his and his wife Melania’s name, extended “warmest greetings to those observing Rosh Hashanah here in the United States, in Israel, and around the world.”

In a video, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wished Jews in Canada and in Israel a “Shana Tova Umetukah!” – a good and sweet new year.

He called on "Canadians to reflect on the important contributions of the Jewish community in Canada to our national fabric, and wish all those celebrating a new year filled with hope, peace, and renewal," and cited the Jewish idea of ‘Tikkun Olam’ to “build a better world for our children and our grandchildren.”

British MP and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called for "peace, justice and equality in the coming year."

U.K. Prime MinisterTheresa May highlighted the need for "stamping out the sickening and shameful hatred, including anti-Semitism, the like of which I never thought we would see again."

Turkey also sent well-wishes via a Twitter account for the Turkish Embassay in Israel, due to be reopened in wake of a reconciliation agreement between the two countries.

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