Fascinating Insights on Modern Israel Discussed at Zionism Victoria’s Book Launch and Panel

August 24, 2016 by Sarah Bendetsky
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Zionism Victoria have hosted the Australian launch of Rabbi Dov Lipman’s book, An ‘American’ MK, Behind the Scenes in the 19th Knesset, followed by an engaging panel on modern Israel.

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Jeremy Leibler, Uri Levin, Shaliach, Progressive Judaism Victoria, Rabbi Dov Lipman, former Member of Knesset for Yesh Atid Party and Director of Public Diplomacy at World Zionist Organisation, Sharene Hambur, President Zionism Victoria, Ginette Searle, Executive Director Zionist Federation of Australia, and Liat Cohen Raviv, Senior Director, Diller Teen Fellows International

During the book launch, Rabbi Dov Lipman, former Member of Knesset for Yesh Atid Party and Director of Public Diplomacy at World Zionist Organization, shared his experiences as Israel’s-only American-born MK.

From leaving the comfort of his home in the US, learning Hebrew and joining the Israeli political circles to passing laws on improving the lives of visually-impaired people, fighting against religious extremism, supporting animal rights and becoming one of the leading figures in the area of Israeli public diplomacy, Rabbi Lipman’s journey inspired the audience to support Israel and advocate on its behalf.

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Sharene Hambur, President Zionism Victoria, Rabbi Dov Lipman, former Member of Knesset for Yesh Atid Party and Director of Public Diplomacy at World Zionist Organisation, Jane Rapke, Executive Director Zionism Victoria

Participant Fay Kingsley said, “Rabbi Lipman’s personal example reminds us of the tremendous impact of aliyah from English-speaking countries. His talk encouraged Jewish unity and highlighted the significance of diplomacy work we should all do in our own capacity.”

The book launch was followed by a compelling panel called Israel Today – Conflicting Views. Moderated by Jeremy Leibler, Honorary Secretary of Zionism Victoria, the panel featured Rabbi Dov Lipman, Liat Cohen Raviv, Senior Director, Diller Teen Fellows International, and Uri Levin, Shaliach, Progressive Judaism Victoria.

The panellists discussed public diplomacy, religion and state Jewish identity of younger generations and the differences between the American and Australian Jewish communities.

“Everyone can do something special for Israel, and the Australian Jewish community is a testimony to that,” said Rabbi Dov Lipman. “It’s my first time in Australia, and I am very excited to see so many people to be involved in Zionist activities.”

Panellist Liat Cohen Raviv added, “In order to build a strong connection to Israel, we have to present a realistic view of the country with imperfections and difficulties like any other. It’s our responsibility to educate the community about Israel’s strengths, uniqueness, beauty but also, its challenges.”

Panellist Uri Levin, Shaliach, Progressive Judaism Victoria, said, “Getting immersed in experiences developing Jewish identity is crucial. Of course, we can’t expect that one solution will work for all, but we have to continue involving the diaspora community to make Israel relevant in their lives.”

Sharene Hambur, President of Zionism Victoria, said, “Rabbi Dov Lipman’s book launch and our thought-provoking discussion on modern Israel created an opportunity for insightful discussions. We look forward to hosting many more events bringing together the diverse points of view of our community.”

Comments

3 Responses to “Fascinating Insights on Modern Israel Discussed at Zionism Victoria’s Book Launch and Panel”
  1. Eion says:

    I went to the talk and found Rabbi Dov Lipman having a very humanitarian attitude within Traditional Judaism .
    Israel is far from perfect but I read about the Holocaust and am deeply relieved by the power of the IDF .
    I know the IDF can be ruthless but that is the area .
    The ISIS -Hamas and Ba’ath -Fatah are barbarians cruel tribal mass killers .
    There was enough room in the area British Mandated Palestine and around to save millions of the Jews Genocided in Europe .
    Whilst the Palestinian Arabs were not directly involved in the genocide directly many though not all were happy about the Genocide .

  2. Ron Burdo says:

    And one more thing:

    Hasn’t time has come to ask whether Jews and Israelis – mainly secular/atheist Israelis –
    can still be considered and referred to as the same people?

  3. Ron Burdo says:

    Well said Liat.

    When I see the romantic, idealistic and outdated view of Israel, which is so common in Austrslian Jewish community, I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry.
    Most people are stuck with an image which was true, if ever, in the 1970s, and the attitude is accordingly.
    Sadly, Jewish education system nurtures this view of a poor and idealistic and unter nation,
    where everyone is patriotic and loyal to the Jewish diaspora.

    Do the dozens of young Jewish Australian, who go to Israel to join the IDF,
    Know that thousands of young Israeli dodge conscription, and this is
    Legitimate these days?
    Do the religious young people, who want to make Alliyah, know that the
    Hatred they will face from secular Israelis is much more than the Antisemitism
    They will ever face in Australia?

    You cannot lie to young people all the time. They will find out the truth faster than ever.

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