JERUSALEM – Hundreds of leaders from Jewish organizations and communities around the world will gather in Israel to participate in The Jewish Agency's Board of Governors meetings next week (Sunday, June 22 through Tuesday, June 24) in Jerusalem. Speakers at the gathering will include Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Speaker of the Knesset Yuli (Yoel) Edelstein, Minister of Education Rabbi Shai Piron, Minister of Environmental Protection Amir Peretz, and Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky. The Board of Governors will bid outgoing board Chairman James S. Tisch a fond farewell at a gala event at the Knesset under the auspices of Speaker Edelstein and featuring an address by Prime Minister Netanyahu, and will also salute outgoing UJA-Federation of New York Executive Vice President and CEO John S. Ruskay. Speaker Edelstein and Chairman Sharansky will address a joint plenary with the first Jewish Media Summit on Monday.
Discussions during the three-day event will focus on initiatives spearheaded by The Jewish Agency in partnership with the Government of Israel and world Jewry to ensure the continuity of the Jewish people and strengthen young Jews' connections to Jewish life and to the State of Israel. Board members will be presented with reports on the dramatic increases in Aliyah (immigration to Israel) from France and Ukraine and the expansion of Jewish Agency activities in those countries and elsewhere around the world. The participants will also discuss the fight against rising anti-Semitism and efforts to combat the delegitimization of Israel. Additionally, members of the Board of Governors will go to the Knesset to meet with Members of Knesset from across the political spectrum and discuss issues affecting the Jewish world and Israel-Diaspora relations.
Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency Natan Sharansky said: "Jewish leaders from around the world are gathering in Jerusalem in the midst of a wave of solidarity with the families of the kidnapped Israeli teens. That outpouring of love and support, which has been sweeping through the Jewish world, reflects the deep sense of family and mutual responsibility shared by each and every one of us. The Jewish Agency's activities around the world are the best expression of that unique bond and we will continue to strengthen it in order to help secure our common future."