NEW YORK — To further strengthen Israel-Diaspora ties, the World Jewish Congress and its affiliate communities around the globe today announced the next phase of a global initiative: the Leadership Bridge Unity Salon Series.
The first round of salons, announced during Sukkot, will take place in Antwerp, Belgium; Budapest, Hungary; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Durban/Johannesburg, South Africa; Frankfurt, Germany; Jerusalem, Israel; London, United Kingdom; New York, USA; Paris, France; Tel Aviv, Israel; Montevideo, Uruguay; Rome, Italy; Santiago, Chile; Stockholm, Sweden; Sydney, Australia; Toronto, Canada; and Vienna, Austria.
“In today’s world of polarization and increasing levels of antisemitism, it is crucial that the Jewish people come together to foster unity and face our common challenges,” WJC President Ronald S. Lauder said in a message to Jewish communal leaders. "In response to this critical need, the World Jewish Congress is committed to convening leaders from across our affiliated communities and Israel through our Jewish Unity Salons to collectively engage in tough but needed conversations about our shared future.”
Each salon will give structure to diverse conversations about Israel-Diaspora ties and will create the foundation for ongoing, local Leadership Bridge hubs. The initiative will be carried out in collaboration with WJC’s affiliate Jewish communities in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Israel, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Uruguay.
The salons build upon a June event in Jerusalem, when the World Jewish Congress, the Reut Group and the Jewish Peoplehood Coalition first launched the Jewish Leadership Bridge for the Future. At that time, Israel’s President Isaac Herzog welcomed 100 WJC Elevate members young Jewish leaders from WJC affiliated communities, who were joined by 150 of their Israeli counterparts. Together, they conducted passionate discussions on the future of the Jewish people and created tangible actions to secure a shared future.
“We are gradually losing points of contact with one another, losing our connection to the binding story that keeps us whole as one nation,” Herzog said at the June gathering.
The salons offer an opportunity to continue those initial discussions in Jerusalem, which included how Jews in Israel and the Diaspora could best support each other; how organizational leaders could better collaborate; how to ensure that young people understand the importance of Jewish unity and how to motivate them to leadership roles at various levels. At the conclusion of the initial salons, the participants will reconvene in Israel for continued discussions and joint-project development with their Israeli counterparts.
Announcements about salons in additional cities will be made in the near future.
- Board of Deputies of British Jews
- Central Council of Jews in Germany (Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland)
- Central Israeli Committee of Uruguay (Comité Central Israelita del Uruguay)
- Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (Canada)
- Confederation of Jewish Communities of Colombia (Confederación de Comunidades Judías de Colombia)
- Coordinating Committee of Belgian Jewish Organizations (Comité de Coordination des Communautés Juives de Belgique)
- Executive Council of Australian Jewry
- Federation of the Hungarian Jewish Communities (MAZSIHISZ)
- Jewish Community of Chile (Comunidad Judía de Chile)
- Jewish Community of Vienna (Israelitische Kultusgemeinde Wien)
- Latin American Jewish Congress
- Representative Council of Jews of France (Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France)
- South African Jewish Board of Deputies
- Union of the Italian Jewish Community (Unione delle Comunità Ebraiche Italiane)
- World Jewish Congress – Israel
- World Jewish Congress – North America
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