Where the Jewish Agency gathers Jewish leaders from around the world for deep consideration of the pressing issues of the Jewish People. Makom designs and facilitates a day dedicated to moving beyond the communal headlines to examine the deep issues that drive them. At the GJF International Jewish leaders deliberately does not take decisions, but together decides to deliberate… Young committed adults sit around the table with institutional leaders, sharing perspectives and gaining understanding.
Moving Israel Education
Introduction on behalf of the Assembly of the Jewish Agency for Israel: Rabbi Bennett Miller, Chair of the Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA) and Senior Rabbi at Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick, NJ.
Opening: Kathy Manning, member of the Makom Committee, and immediate past Chair of the Board of Jewish Federations of North America
Open Salon conversation moderated by Yonatan Ariel Dyonna Ginsberg, Director of Service Learning, Jewish Agency for Israel Simon Klarfeld, Director of Young Judea Dr Zohar Raviv, International VP for Education Birthright Taglit Sarah Tuttle-Singer, Social Media Editor, Times of Israel
Rabbi Oren J. Hayon is the Greenstein Family Executive Director at the Hillel Foundation for Jewish Life at the University of Washington.
In his biography of Pyrrhus of Epirus, Plutarch recounts the details of the ancient Greek general’s costly victory against Rome at Asculum in 279 BCE. According to Plutarch’s account, shortly after the battle, Pyrrhus considered the devastating losses to his Macedonian troops and made the dark but prescient reflection: “If we were to be victorious in one more battle against the Romans, it would utterly destroy us.” [Life of Pyrrhus, 21:9]
The story of that long-ago battle comes to remind us that some victories produce a sense of exhilaration so intoxicating that they prevent us from realizing that we are actually marching unwittingly toward defeat. I write these lines in the immediate aftermath of a period in the life of our organization which looks unmistakably like a time of triumph. Nevertheless, as I write, I am keenly aware of how we have been diminished by the events of this year. I find myself surprised and concerned about how much we have lost, and about how much more we stand to lose in the future. To Full Post
Jerusalem has been a-popping with assemblies and conferences. The Assembly of the Jewish Agency for Israel overlapped with the General Assembly of Jewish Federations (GA), which fed into the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency… A real party!
Makom was highly involved in all these gatherings, and as well as working like dogs, we also learned a few fascinating lessons…
1. We were surprised that non-Israelis were surprised that Israelis are engaged on meaningful journeys of Jewish Identity.
Yes, that’s right – a double surprise. At the session we ran at the GA on the Jewish identity of Israelis, we decided to take multi-vocality to its ultimate conclusion. Instead of having a panel of a few Israelis, we invited over 27 Israelis involved in all sorts of different Jewish identity questions, and sat them around small discussion tables. That way everyone would hear at least three different stories. From the head of a Secular Yeshiva, to the leader of a group of Orthodox gay men, to the orthodox woman working for the New Israel Fund. People from the far North, deep South, trendy center. People born in Israel and born elsewhere. All of them engaged and committed to expanding their own and other Israelis’ Jewish horizons. To Full Post
“You will have seen that the publicity design for this Global Jewish Forum on Israel Education is based on the format of Waze.
Waze is an Israeli hi-tech invention recently bought by Google for over a billion dollars. It’s a mobile application that works as a sophisticated GPS navigator.
You key in your destination.
It immediately recognizes where you are.
It maps the fastest route for you to reach your destination – but not only by looking at the map.
It also gathers information from all the other users of Waze at that moment, so as to gain an up-to-date picture of where there are traffic hold-ups – and it alters your route accordingly.
Today’s Global Jewish Forum, designed by Makom, the Jewish Agency’s Israel Education Lab, is built on the same principle as Waze.
When looking at Israel Education throughout the world – where are we? What is our starting position? Where would we like to get to?
It’s no good hoping to get somewhere while keying in a different place altogether.
And finally, what are the obstacles in the way of our reaching our destination, and how can they be avoided or overcome?
Just as with Waze, this final question of obstacles can only be answered through the shared information and shared perspectives of everyone else out on the highways and byways of Jewish life.
This morning we’ll be gathering a picture of where we’re at from Dr Alex Pomson, we’ll have the chance to share our ideas of destinations and obstacles in small group discussions, and then we’ll get the chance to hear some key practitioners working through their journeys.