IT was a proud day for Glaswegian Sholom Jacobs when he was invited to the opening of America’s new embassy in Jerusalem, writes ADAM CAILLER.
The son of Rabbi and Mrs Chaim Jacobs, of Glasgow, where he was raised, he was there as a guest of Rabbi Zalman Wolowick, who spoke at the event.
Rabbi Wolowick, Mr Jacobs explained, was invited by American ambassador to Israel David Friedman who learns with him regularly.
Mr Jacobs, who has lived in America for 21 years and runs a property company in New York, told me just hours after the ceremony: “As a Jew, it was incredible that this day came.
“The strongest country in the world has identified in a clear way — after so many others promised — that Jerusalem is the capital.
“I couldn’t be prouder. It was eye-opening to think that you’re at the opening of the embassy. Everyone around us, Jewish and non-Jewish, was very proud.”
The 41-year-old added: “I was sitting next to the late American evangelist Billy Graham’s granddaughter and her husband. Their love for Israel was immense.”
And there was more good news for Mr Jacobs as, one week before the event, he received approval for his American citizenship.
Rabbi Wolowik, of Chabad of the Five Towns, Long Island, New York, told the illustrious gathering that “truth is not determined by popular opinion”. He said: “Truth stands the test of time. The Jewish people’s attachment to this holy city has never waned or faltered — it is truth.
“From cradle to grave, for thousands of years, Jews of every extraction have had the beautiful name of this beautiful city on their lips — Yerushalayim.
“Jews have lived here, and when they didn’t, they directed their prayers here. That is truth.”
Rabbi Wolowick told me afterwards that words “cannot adequately describe the feelings and emotions” he had while giving that speech.
He said: “It was electrifying. I was humbled and honoured to be a part of this most historic event.
“When ambassador Friedman asked me to speak, my initial reaction was ‘wow — I really cannot believe I will actually play a role in this celebration’.
“It was a celebration not just a celebration for the moment or for America. It was a celebration for the safety and security of our country and peace in a dignified fashion.
“It’s something I will carry with me for years to come.”