New Zealand Jewish community looks to the future

August 15, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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New Zealand Jewish leaders representing over 25 organisations gathered in Auckland from around the country recently for a full day of workshops, seminars, and a deep desire for increased collaboration.

The participants

Daniel Rosenbaum conceived the idea and pulled together a fantastic programme with support from the New Zealand Jewish Council (NZJC). The purpose of the conference was summed up by NZJC president, Stephen Goodman, in his introduction in which he told the 63 participants: “The only way we are going to continue and grow in a safe and secure society is for us to have sound, committed and capable Jewish leadership. Providing support for those currently in leadership roles and those able to move into these roles is the objective of this conference.“

Mr Goodman’s opening remarks were joined by welcome notes from Mary Kluk, President of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and Vice President of the World Jewish Congress as well as Clive Lawton Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Jewish Council.

Mary Kluk told the gathering: “Build your community, improve your community and keep your community united and engaged in the Jewish world. There is nothing more rewarding than taking part and belonging to this beautiful world of the Jewish community.”  –

Clive Lawton added: “We are a people of destiny, not a people of the past. Fix the future. Contribute to it.”

Current and emerging leaders from Auckland, Canterbury, the Waikato region and Wellington participated in a variety of morning workshops on traditional and contemporary leadership models to help grow their leadership journey; while concurrent sessions featured presentations from professional leaders from the UK, Israel, USA and Australia.

Afternoon sessions featured more international speakers and facilitators, as well as local New Zealand expert facilitators, and participant-led discussions on topics ranging from civil and political engagement, mentorship, and envisioning a shared future for New Zealand’s Jewish community.

The leadership conference acts as a launchpad for increased collaboration, unity and engagement in the Jewish community’s development.

Given the lively discussion and food for thought offered by the esteemed speakers, the current and future Jewish community leaders of Aotearoa New Zealand are inspired to gather periodically.

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