April 14, 2024
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WZO Chairman Yaakov Hagoel Visits Teaneck

This past Sunday, hours before the Super Bowl, the World Zionist Organization’s (WZO) chairman Yaakov Hagoel visited Poppy’s in Teaneck for a sit-down with local leaders and community members to discuss the work of the WZO both before and after Oct. 7. Hagoel was in the tri-state area for a series of meetings, including a shabbaton in Great Neck and events in Brooklyn and elsewhere. Organized by Teaneck Councilmember Elie Y. Katz, the meeting was a chance for the WZO chairman to talk specifically about the work of the WZO and offer words of support and inspiration to approximately 10 local leaders and community activists, including Teaneck council members Mark (Mendy) Schwartz and Hilary Goldberg, as well as Mindy Stein, a leading AZM lay leader and former Emunah of America chair and president, among others.

After a brief introduction by Elie Katz explaining his close relationship with the WZO and Hagoel, Hagoel started off by thanking his hosts and noting how special the Teaneck Jewish community is when it comes to support for Israel and making aliyah. He continued by noting that the current period for the State of Israel and the Jewish people is one of struggle, but that we are strong and will emerge stronger. He said that he and his colleagues are expecting record numbers of olim in the coming year. On a personal note, he shared that his brother-in-law was killed by Hamas on Oct. 7 at the Nova festival while attempting to treat the wounded there.

The event attendees at Poppy’s.

He opened the floor to questions and fielded questions about antisemitism and what the WZO is doing in response. He pointed out the WZO’s efforts to influence and press for changes on university campuses when it comes to hiring academic department chairs and heads. After the Q&A session was over, he closed with a positive message of hope and belief in the Jewish people’s unity and strength in times of crisis like these.

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