5 Tevet, 5764
Herzliya Conference on Israel's National Security
The Jewish Agency played a major role at the prestigious Herzliya Conference on Israel's National Security, held in mid-December.
In acknowledgment of the importance of the Jewish People as a strategic asset for the State of Israel, a panel discussion under Jewish Agency aegis on "Building Future Jewish Leadership" focused on ways of ensuring that the most promising students identify with the Jewish people and with Israel, as well as recruiting them for Jewish campus leadership and Jewish community leadership. The panel, which was chaired by Jewish Agency Chairman, Sallai Meridor, included Alan Hoffmann, Director-General of the JAFI Department of Jewish Zionist Education; Richard Joel, President of Yeshiva University and former President of Hillel; and Alan Senitt, of BICOM (British Israel Communications and Research Center) and former National Chairman of the Union of Jewish Students of the UK and Ireland.
Citing the fact that the Jewish People is shrinking by some 50,000 each year, Meridor noted that the only way to save the Jewish People is through Jewish education and by bringing young people to Israel. He announced a new program co-sponsored by the Government of Israel and the Jewish Agency to bring 20% of Jewish pre-college youth to Israel for a year's study. "Preserving the Jewish People is as much the responsibility of the Government of Israel as it is that of Diaspora Jewry," he said.
Hoffmann noted the importance of training Jewish students in Israel advocacy skills. Joel argued that as a prerequisite to identifying with Israel and Judaism students must be made aware of their positive values and that effort must invested in training Jewish educators. Senitt similarly advocated adopting a pro-active approach to engage Jewish students and demonstrate how their interests can correspond with those of Israel and the Jewish community. "Students are our future and every student counts," he concluded.
For further information contact:
Conference's website www.herzliyaconference.org
Liaison to Foreign Press
The Jewish Agency for Israel