JERUSALEM - Members of the World Jewish Congress Jewish Diplomatic Corps (WJC JDCorps) steering committee met in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem this week, together with the flagship program’s professional staff, for its annual meeting to discuss ongoing and upcoming efforts, including internal procedures and collaborative activities and diplomatic outreach.
On the side-lines of its discussions, the steering committee met with Gad Ariely, the newly elected chair of WJC-Israel. Ariely is also a WJC vice president, the director general of the Israel Export Institute and the former director general of the Likud party. Ariely has extensive experience working with government agencies, local authorities and institutions, and has a wide-ranging experience also in the private sector, managing internationals business operations.
The committee’s discussions with Ariely focused on a range of issues including: opportunities for engaging in closer bilateral relationships to establish and maintain trade and business networks; updates regarding upcoming trade delegations for the Export Institute together with the Prime Minister's Office; the usability and advantages of the WJC having a global network of engaged professionals; increasing involvement of the WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps members, in close collaboration with WJC-Israel and its board and leadership, in the diplomatic efforts conducted in Israel; and working with Israeli municipalities holding twin city relationships across the globe.
The WJC JDCorps steering committee was also hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a briefing by Akiva Tor, the head of the Bureau for World Jewish Affairs and World Religions, on combating anti-Semitism online. At the MFA, the steering committee also met with Ambassador to Zambia, Gershon Kedar, for a discussion on Israel’s diplomatic agenda in Africa.
The MFA meetings were followed by a working lunch with Ambassador Ran Ichay, today the CEO of the Jerusalem and Heritage Office. The pragmatic discussion centered on the effective methods, opportunities and pitfalls of Israel’s diplomatic outreach. Ambassador Ichay provided the steering committee with an assessment of the situation in Europe, with regard to terror and anti-Semitism, and presented the work and priorities of the Jerusalem and Heritage Office, suggesting opportunities for collaboration with the WJC JDCorps.
The WJC JDCorps is a worldwide network of outstanding young Jewish professionals who voluntarily engage in diplomacy and public policy. It comprises a cadre of some some professionals aged 27 to 45, from more than 40 countries. The WJC-JDCorps operates under the auspices of the World Jewish Congress' Program Department, led by Chief Program Officer Sonia Gomes de Mesquita.
In 2014, the WJC JDCorps was successfully reintegrated into the WJC as a flagship program. WJC provides this core group with opportunities to engage in diplomatic activities, meetings with government officials and international organizations worldwide as well as participate in WJC events and activities.
The WJC JDCorps takes pride in the quality of its carefully recruited members, who are accomplished professionals in their own rights. Members, known as Jewish Diplomats, come from a wide variety of backgrounds and include attorneys, Jewish community lay and professional leaders, venture capitalists, international financial advisers, university professors, social activists, parliamentarians, and entrepreneurs, to name a few.
The WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps Steering Committee includes the following members:
Sonat Birnecker Hart, USA
Eli Novershtern, Israel
Tal Dror, Israel
Ami Wise, Canada
Ruth Ouazana, France
Ezequiel Kieczkier, Argentina
Gabriel Buznik, Argentina
Alana Baranov, South Africa
Jacob Turner (UK)
The WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps Professional Staff is represented by:
Daniel Radomski, Head of the WJC JDCorps, WJC Jerusalem office
Lauren Rose, WJC JDCorps Analyst Europe and Israel, WJC Representative to the UN in Geneva and to UNESCO, WJC Geneva office
Yfat Barak-Cheney, WJC JDCorps Analyst Americas, Policy Analyst to the CEO, WJC New York headquarters
Oleg Ivanov, WJC JDCorps Coordinator Americas, WJC Digital Campaign Manager, WJC New York headquarters