Jerusalem, Israel - Jan. 23, 2023  - "Are We on the Same Page? A Dialogue Exploring the Relationship Between North American Jewry & Israel" was the topic discussed by Rabbi Moshe Hauer, Executive Vice President of the Orthodox Union with Rabbi Shai Finklestein Mara D'Atra of Kehilat Nitzanim in Yershalyamin on the night of January 22, 2023.

The first event under the new President of OU Israel Stuart Hershkowitz was held in Bet Knesset Nitzanim, where Moshe Schecter (L) who made aliyah from Baltimore in 1985 is a Vaad Chairperson.The event was live-streamed, however, a large number of people sitting in the shul audience were olim, including Rabbi Hauer's mother.

After greetings from OU Israel Center's Rabbi Avi Berman, Hershkowitz introduced the Rabbis and sat between them as moderator of the conversation.

Rabbi Hauer said he thought antisemitism has not changed the lives of most American Jews and went on to elaborate on life in the US.

Rabbi Finklestein who lived in Memphis, for years as the Rav of the Baron Hirsch Synagogue, said he saw in Memphis, out of Israel, Jews need something and need to help each other in small communities.

How to create a common conversation was the central issue.

On the subject of conversion, while in the US it is a matter on a personal scale,  in Israel, it is an issue on a national scale. Thousands serve in the army and feel a part of the State of Israel, but are not halachicaly Jewish.  What are we going to do for them?

The audience was asked to think about how it is received in America, to identify with a state that does not recognize me. The OU, Rabbi Hauer believes can be a "voice for disenfranchised" Jews. 

However, there has to be communication, "back to Yosef, we must talk to each other."

The discussion closed - in Israel, the aim is to build a nation, not only a community.  With Yaakov, all tribes came together. We need to get along. The Jewish people have the destiny to build a society based on ethics  and -

Ki mitzion tetze torah, udvar Hashem mirushalayim.