Ambassador/Israeli Consul General Asaf Zamir Welcomed in Scarsdale

Young Israel of Scarsdale Rabbi Jonathan Morgenstern (left) and Israeli Ambassador/Consul General of NY Asaf Zamir.

By Stephen E. Lipken



Arlene Kleinberg, UJA Westchester Campaign Chair and Westchester Jewish Council (WJC) Board Member, welcomed new Ambassador/Israeli Consul General in New York Asaf Zamir to his first official visit to the Westchester community at Young Israel of Scarsdale (YIS) on Monday, May 23, 2002.  Also present was YIS Rabbi Jonathan Morgenstern, WJC President William Schrag and WJC CEO Elliot Forchheimer.


Kleinberg noted that Forchheimer recently returned from a UJA Westchester/WJC interfaith mission to Israel with 18 Westchester clergy, Rabbis, priests and ministers who spent time learning and experiencing Israel together.  “In Ukraine, UJA has provided more than $13 million dollars emergency funding food, medical supplies and transportation. So far more than 19,000 Ukrainian and Russian Jews have chosen to make Aliyah.”


Rabbi Morgenstern recounted giving out Israeli flags to Ukrainian refugees at the Novatel Hotel in Warsaw before they boarded buses to the airport for the El Al flight to Israel. “These teenagers were sitting in their living rooms three weeks earlier, playing X-Box, living their lives in Ukraine that had been there for generations, many of them children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Holocaust survivors.  Their apartment no longer exists.”


Schrag introduced Zamir who began, “When Israel had the support of the United States, it was bipartisan. It does not exist anymore. We are so divided politically.  We have serious challenges, enemies on the Far Left and Far Right. An alarming number of young Jews don’t have a strong understanding of how Israel is important to future generations. 


“It is disheartening to see violence from the Left and Right, What can we do to combat anti-Semitism on college internets?  We need to reach the hearts and minds of children,” Zamir stressed.


Born August 31,1980 in Ganei Yehuda, Israel,  Zamir served as Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv from 2008 until 2013 and Acting Mayor in charge of education from 2013 to 2018.  Elected to the Knesset in 2019 representing the Blue and White party, he served until 2021 and was Minister of Tourism from May to October 2020.