The World Jewish Congress Executive Committee met on Thursday for the first time following the election of new Executive Committee members during the organization’s 16th Plenary Assembly held in May. The group, which includes the most senior leaders of Jewish communities from approximately two-dozen countries across the globe, typically gathers in person, but met online due to continuing COVID-19 travel restrictions.
The meeting, which took place shortly after the formation of Israel’s new governing coalition, also provided an opportunity for members of the Executive to hear from and engage with Israel’s incoming Minister for Diaspora Affairs Dr. Nachman Shai.
During the warm exchange, WJC President Ronald S. Lauder called on Minister Shai to make repairing the relationship between young Jews in the Diaspora and their extended family in Israel a priority. He deemed it essential to put significant resources into this effort. Reinforcing this position, he urged all participants to recognize the centrality of the relationship between Diaspora and Israeli Jews, calling it, “vital, essential, and, as matter of fact, the heart and soul of the World Jewish Congress."
Dr. Shai, who previously served in the Knesset from 2009 to 2019 after a long career in the military, media, and academia, made clear that he is determined to promote a stronger sense of unity among the Jewish people around the world and in Israel. The Minister stressed the importance of the relations being “mutual,” adding “it's not all about us and it's not all about you. It's about being together as one big Jewish people and struggling and confronting our common enemies."
Discussing the recent rise of antisemitism and needed response, Minister Shai said, "it's not about Israel’s security it's about the Jewish people security. It's about how we keep the Jewish people running for generations."
About the World Jewish Congress Executive Committee:
The Executive Committee of the World Jewish Congress conducts the affairs of the WJC in accordance with the decisions of the Plenary Assembly and Governing Board. The body consists of the WJC President, Vice Presidents (including, ex Officio, the presidents of the 12 largest WJC-affiliated Jewish communities, as well as representatives of other Jewish communities, international Jewish organizations, and young adults), the Governing Board Chairman, the Treasurer, the Chair and Co-Chair of the Policy Council and the Chairmen of the Regional Affiliates. The Executive meets at least twice a year.