At sundown tomorrow night, the Jewish community in the United States and around the world will gather to celebrate the start of the new year. In a video message on the occasion of Rosh Hashanah, President Barack Obama said:
"The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are a time for repentance and reflection. An opportunity to reaffirm our friendships, renew our commitments, and reflect on the values we cherish.
"As the High Holidays begin, we look back on all the moments during the past year that give us reason to hope. Around the world, a new generation is reaching for their universal rights. Here in the United States, we've responded to our challenges by focusing on the things that really matter -- friendship, family, and community.
"But this last year was also one of hardship for people around the world. Too many of our friends and neighbors continue to struggle in the wake of a terrible economic recession. And beyond our borders, many of our closest allies -- including the State of Israel -- face the uncertainties of an unpredictable age.
"That is why my Administration is doing everything we can to promote prosperity here at home and security and peace throughout the world -- and that includes reaffirming our commitment to the State of Israel. While we cannot know all that the New Year will bring, we do know this: the United States will continue to stand with Israel, because the bond between our two nations is unshakable.
"As Jewish tradition teaches us, we may not complete the work, but that must never keep us from trying. In that spirit, Michelle and I wish you and your families and all who celebrate Rosh Hashanah a sweet year full of health, happiness, and peace."
You can also view the President's remarks on the White House Blog.