U.S. Ambassador to Israel David M. Friedman made an unannounced visit to HAFTR High School last Friday.
Friedman, a Five Towner who lives in Woodsburg, spoke with students and faculty about his appointment and what he hopes to accomplish. He pointed out that he was the first ambassador to be appointed by President Trump and that the timing of his appointment, on the first day of the new administration, is reflective of the high priority that the administration places on the U.S. relationship with Israel.
Friedman said that members of Trump foreign policy team recognize Israel’s unique role as a vibrant democracy in the Middle East.
In response to a student’s question, Friedman affirmed that Israel has bi-partisan support in the U.S., and said that during and since his confirmation process, he has reached out to senators and representatives on both sides of the aisle.
On a personal note, Friedman noted his long relationship with HAFTR: He is a graduate of the Hebrew Institute of Long Island (HILI), which merged with Hillel to form the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway. A father of four HAFTR graduates and a daughter in ninth grade, Friedman served as chairman of HAFTR’s Board of Education. A highly successful lawyer, he has left his legal practice of 36 years — 23 of which were as a partner in the law firm Kasowitz, Benson, Torres and Friedman — to assume the ambassadorship.
General Studies Principal Naomi Lippman spoke for the entire HAFTR High School faculty and student body when she told Friedman how proud the members of the school community are of his appointment to this auspicious position.
“We wish you much hatzlacha and Hashem’s blessings in this critical role,” she said. “You have our complete confidence and our tefilot as you embark on this momentous journey as the United States’ premier emissary to the state of Israel.”