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Israeli government and Jewish religious leaders joined with Mormon representatives this week in praising the increasingly close relationship between the two faiths.

Participants in the New York City reception, reported in an LDS Church news release, hailed the social gathering as an outgrowth of an October 2016 meeting of Jewish and Mormon delegations marking the 175th anniversary of an early Mormon apostle's journey to Jerusalem.

"The bonds between the Jewish community and the Mormon community are so deep and so clear in many of our values and customs and the things we cherish," Dani Dayan, Consul General of Israel in New York, said Wednesday night. "I am looking forward to having a deeper and deeper relationship between us."

Dayan, along with the New York Board of Rabbis, hosted the reception.

The Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was represented by Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, along with his wife, Mary; Gerrit W. Gong of the Presidency of the Seventy; and Dean M. Davies of the Presiding Bishopric and his wife, Darla.

The release says Cook opined that the friendship of Mormons and Jews was close, in part, "because our theology is so significantly tied."

"We treasure this relationship," he said. "We think there are many things that can happen [by working together]."

Added Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, executive vice president of the New York Board of Rabbis: "We have wonderful friends in the Mormon community and with other denominations. I think sometimes we don't recognize how deep some of those friendships are. We're going to be doing more together."

Bob Mims

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