NEW YORK — The Rabbinical Assembly, the international association for Conservative/Masorti rabbis, has issued the following statement on the death of former Israeli President Shimon Peres:
The Rabbinical Assembly, the international association for Conservative/Masorti rabbis, greatly mourns the death of Shimon Peres, z”l, whose commitment to Israel and the Jewish people was unparalleled. We will remember President Peres—a member of Israel’s founding generation—for his eloquence, diplomacy and tireless work, along with a pragmatism coupled with unflagging optimism. Both a dreamer and a realist, President Peres never gave up hope that Israel would achieve peace with its neighbors, and dedicated much of his career to that pursuit, having held numerous cabinet positions, serving twice as prime minister and once as president.
From pre-state Israel when he served in the Haganah to heading Israel’s navy in the War of Independence, from his nearly five-decade parliamentary career to his negotiations on the Oslo Accords, from his founding of the Peres Center for Peace, to his leadership of the Jewish Agency for Israel, President Peres has been an integral part of the state’s history. He exemplified the biblical directive to ‘seek peace and pursue it” (Psalms 34:15).
The Rabbinical Assembly in particular appreciated his work on pluralism and the open dialogue he maintained with Judaism’s various religious streams.
A statesman par excellence, President Peres was one of the world’s most respected, committed and capable political officials and humanitarians, having won a Nobel Peace Prize, as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom, French Legion of Honour and the Congressional Gold Medal.
Zikhrono livrakha, may the memory of Shimon Peres be a blessing, and we extend our condolences to his children Dr. Tsvia Walden, Yoni Peres and Nechemia Peres, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Baruch dayan emet, blessed be the judge.