WJC Governing Board Meeting

In a show of solidarity with the people of southern Israel living under threat from missile attacks from the Gaza Strip, the Governing Board of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) met on Wednesday in the Israeli coastal town of Ashkelon. Mayors of towns in the region and representatives of kibbutzim and moshavim participated in the proceedings, to the applause of delegates. Around 150 delegates and observers from Jewish communities from around the world and from affiliated international Jewish organizations traveled to Ashkelon for this meeting.


In his keynote speech, WJC President Ronald S. Lauder urged support for Israel notably in the face of the increasing Iranian threat and of the dangers posed by Iranian-backed terrorist groups. Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant, commander of the Israel Defense Forces Southern Command, briefed delegates on the security situation in the area, and participants were later taken on a tour and shown security installations, including an IDF base.

Inter-faith outreach activities were also discussed by the Governing Board members, and delegates resolved to give priority to such efforts on the level of national Jewish communities. The WJC also launched a program to increase the representation of young Jewish leaders on its main bodies. Matthew Bronfman, chairman of the Governing Board, pointed out: "It is our responsibility to see to it that young talents take up leadership posts in the near future."

The Governing Board also decided to hold the next Plenary Assembly of the World Jewish Congress in January 2009, in Jerusalem.