Participants included 50 young leaders from Bnei Akiva, Betar, Habonim, Netzer and SAUJS who attended the various sessions, run by the Shlichim from around South Africa. The topics included: the connection between Jewish people in the diaspora and the State of Israel, Zionist movement changes from past to present, the challenges facing the State of Israel today, famous Zionists in history and the connection between the exodus from Egypt and the establishment of the State of Israel.
In addition to these topics, the various Youth Movements were given the opportunity to explain their movement’s ideologies and the differences between each with reference to the above topics.
In a thought provoking main session, the participants were fortunate enough to be addressed by Gusti Yehoshua Braverman, head of department for Diaspora Activity in the WZO. She proposed 3 interesting questions to the delegates on differing opinions in Zionist thoughts, the duty of Zionist youth movements to the State of Israel and what type of joint activities can be done among the movements, despite their different ideologies.
Organised by the WZO Shaliach, Yaron Shiponi, the seminar proved to be a great learning opportunity for these young leaders. It encouraged interaction between the movements, allowing them to recognise that barriers such as ignorance, suspicion, competition, fear to lose control and intolerance prevent them from working together. In an effort to overcome these barriers, the young leaders created this statement:
“We all agree that through respect, ongoing discussion and creating the mechanism for discussion, we can fulfil our mutual responsibility to educate and empower the young generation here in South Africa.”