Seminar on Israeli communities abroad

November 16, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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A seminar on Israeli communities abroad has been held in the Knesset in Jerusalem. 

Eitan Drori addresses the seminar

Eitan Drori addresses the seminar

Over a hundred people participated…among them Israeli leaders from various worldwide communities, MKs, and senior members of government ministries, and national institutes.

The seminar was organised by the founders of “Worldwide Israeli Leadership”,  Oren Heiman, Anat Koren, Ran Mesterman and Melbourne’s  Eitan Drori.

The seminar hosted 27 speakers who showcased different approaches, some of which are cutting edge, for dealing with diaspora Israelis.


Some one hundered participants in a unique seminar

The seminar is a milestone in altering the current perception of official Israeli authorities on the subject. During the seminar, different speakers spoke about the importance of Israelis abroad as a strategic asset for the state of Israel and to Israelis wherever they may live.

Government ministries are united in their approach that a change of official attitude toward the subject is needed, a position articulated by several speakers during the seminar.

MK Rabbi Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid): “As someone who grew up abroad in a Jewish community I can testify that Israelis were never part of the community. I see great importance in incorporating them into the Jewish world and call for a discussion on the subject in the Knesset committee”

The usual negative terminology in regards to Israelis choosing to live abroad made way for fresh and positive rhetoric and softer approach. The seminar is just the first step in an important and ground breaking change of perception of Israelis abroad by Israeli establishment.

Prof. Uriel Reichman, president and founder of IDC in Hertzliya: “We must recruit anyone who can help us with the challenges of explaining Israel’s position abroad. Whoever wants to fix Israeli society must do it from inside of Israel. It is wrong to give a political party to handle this subject. The Jewish Agency is the natural place to handle this, and on behalf of the government it should be Prime Minister’s office.”

The seminar is a continuation of a London seminar held last March in “Danubius” hotel Regents Park with 70 people from 13 countries in attendance.

On February 24-26 next year an Global Israeli leadership seminar will be held in the Interdisciplinary Centre in hertzeliya. The project calls on anyone who sees themselves fit to join and assist in locating leaders and connection to communities of Israelis around the world.

Eitan Drori is executive director of the Friends of the Hebrew University.

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