This afternoon I received the following e-mail from the new president of the OU, Mr. Stephen Savitsky. I think it speaks for itself and speaks highly of a person willing to take responsibility for his words and to make amends for his mistakes. I look forward to his implementing the pro-Aliyah policy he described in his original interview in the Jerusalem Post.
Dear Rabbi Dr. Jeffrey R. Woolf:
After receiving many emails regarding my interview in The Jerusalem Post, I want you to know that I have placed an ad in Thursday’s editon of the Post which will read as follows:
I deeply regret the remarks I made concerning past motivations for aliya which were reported in the Friday, November 26 edition of The Jerusalem Post, and I apologize for them. I am sorry that these remarks, which were part of a lengthy discussion on aliya and many other topics, denigrated—albeit unintentionally—those who have made aliya over the years. As newly-elected President of the Orthodox Union, I will continue to acknowledge their courage and idealism, and to use their example to encourage others to follow in their footsteps. Indeed, promoting aliya was a key theme of our Convention in Jerusalem this past weekend.
I request mechila (forgiveness) from all whom I offended, and hope I may look forward to working closely with the entire community of olim to increase and enhance aliya in the future.
This unfortunate incident has caused me tremendous personal anguish and I hope that I have learned from this experience and that I will be able to represent the OU in a positive manner in the future. Thank you for taking the time to communicate with me.
Stephen J Savitsky
President, Orthodox Union
Gilly, at If I Forget Thee..., had the best 'last word' on the Savitsky affair.