Israeli officials paid tribute to American Jewry’s contribution to the State of Israel at a Knesset ceremony.

The May 25 ceremony in Jerusalem, the first of its kind, marked what organizers called 100 years of activity and support by American Jews for the pre-state Yishuv and the nation of Israel.

“Today I attended the opening of an exhibit at the Knesset marking 100 years of American Jewish involvement in the Land of Israel both before and after the independence of the State of Israel,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after taking in the exhibit.

“I deeply appreciate the great support of the American Jewish community for the Zionist enterprise and for the State of Israel. Our obligation to continue cultivating this link is essential. There is much more familiarity and knowledge of the American Jewish community regarding Israel than there is in Israel regarding the American Jewish community; I welcome this important effort to change the balance.”

“I am certain that we will continue to see the welcome immigration of young American Jews to Israel. They have made a great contribution not just by integrating and contributing to our economy, but also by bringing their great intellectual abilities and fervent Zionism. Of course, I honor Israel’s connection with the American Jewish community, where there are many who visit Israel and study Hebrew. The more they come, visit and immigrate here, the better it will be for both Israel and the American Jewish community.”

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Erica Terry is Managing Editor at Jspace News. She has reported on domestic and international news, Israeli politics, features and more for Jewish publications in New York, Miami and London.