By: Michoel Bretter
A who’s who of Israel’s rabbinic, business and political leadership were in the main ballroom of Yerushalayim’s King David Hotel on Monday evening for a VIP dinner in honor of the launch of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce’s Israel branch, which was cohosted and broadcast live on Arutz Sheva.
Rabbi Shlomo Amar, Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Yerushalayim, was the first speaker. He elaborated upon Am Yisroel’s inexorable connection to Eretz Yisroel, dating back to when Hashem placed the entire land under Yaakov Avinu, and the Divine promise of “Lmaan yirbu yemeichem v’yemei veneichem al ha’adama asher nishbah Hashem.”
The Wall Street based Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest network of Jewish community related business and governmental interests. The group has longstanding relationships with VIP business leaders and elected officials in both the US and Israel. The official launch of the Israel branch takes this global network’s power to the next level.
A special guest at the dinner was Wall Street mogul and former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, who is in Israel for the week as a guest of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce. Earlier in the day, Chamber leaders led Mr. Scaramucci on a tour of Yad Vashem, which a left a distinct emotional impression upon him. In an AP interview broadcast throughout the mainstream media, Mr. Scaramucci said that he remains very close to the White House and left open the possibility that he will assume another official position in the future.
At the dinner, Mr. Scaramucci shared his emotions about the trip, and reminisced about his Jewish friends and neighbors as a child in Long Island. “You have an unbelievable culture…I will never forget this trip,” he exclaimed. He shared that he was “incredibly moved” by his Yad Vashem visit and that, as one who has visited Afghanistan and Iraq, appreciates the benefits that America derives from its relationship with Israel. He added that the U.S. – Israel relationship is not merely strategic but also fundamental – as both countries strongly value the individual spirit that spurs entrepreneurship.
Indeed, a core focus of the Scaramucci visit is his business and investment interests, as he refocuses on his business ventures while maintaining a close relationship with the White House. The Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce is showcasing Israel’s bustling economy and investment opportunities to the mogul, as it works to strengthen broader US-Israel economic ties.
Mr. Scaramucci has already shown immense interest in Israel’s renowned hi-tech and other sectors. “I can guarantee that Anthony will among Israel’s best friends in the years ahead,” attested Dr. Joseph Frager, Executive VP of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce. “He loves America and loves Israel.”
Duvi Honig, Founder and CEO of the Chamber, marveled at the breadth and diversity of the audience in the ballroom, which highlights the Chamber’s core mission of networking and economic opportunity: “We are all here with one goal: to empower others and to be here for others.” The Chamber’s Israel branch is set to promote economic success both at the grassroots level within Israel, as well as on the international scene, based upon the successful model of the Chamber’s American branch and its fourteen innovative divisions.
A significant representation of Israeli government ministers and Knesset members were in attendance for this historic event, and many addressed the dinner, including: Minister of Transportation and Intelligence Yisroel Katz; Education Minister Naftali Bennett; Minister for Social Equality Gila Gamliel; Communications Minister Ayoob Kara; Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked; Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel; MK Yoav Kisch; MK Elazar Stern; MK Rabbi Meir Porush; MK Dr. Anat Berko; MK Yehuda Glick; Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi; MK Bezalel Smotrich and MK Oren Hazan. Other VIPs who addressed the event include Mark Zell, Chairman of Republicans Overseas – Israel; pro-Israel activist Ken Abramowitz; entrepreneur and activist May Golan; and Women in Green co-founder Nadia Matar.
The speakers highlighted the importance of the US-Israel relationship from economic, security and historical perspectives – all of which intersect with the Chamber’s network and public policy activities. They heralded the improved US-Israel relationship under President Trump, while stressing the sensitive work ahead as the administration navigates various international crises.
No doubt, the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce’s coveted relationships and clout in both nations, and Mr. Scaramucci’s intensified interest in the Jewish State, are incredible assets on the road ahead. “I will pray for this State as I do for my own,” the close Trump confidante vowed to the audience, before reciting the Beracha of “Shehecheyanu” in the best Hebrew transliteration he could muster.