The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs, in partnership with The Jewish Agency for Israel, have convened a first ever strategic planning summit opening today, November 6th. Some 120 senior professionals and lay leaders from throughout the Jewish world and Israel are in attendance, which features addresses by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister of Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett, and Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency Natan Sharansky.
The summit will seek to formulate a joint plan to enhance the Jewish identity of young Jews around the world and strengthen ties between the Jewish world and Israel.
The summit marks the culmination of comprehensive staff work begun approximately a year ago by a strategic planning taskforce led by the Prime Minister’s Office and The Jewish Agency. The findings were presented to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Diaspora Affairs in June and The Jewish Agency was subsequently asked to convene this unprecedented coalition in order to advance the joint initiative. A plan is expected to be presented to the government for approval in 2014.
The summit participants represent a wide spectrum of Jewish communal professionals and organizations including representatives of communities, organizations, foundations, academics, intellectuals, entrepreneurs and veteran leaders. In an unprecedented move, the dialogue also includes representatives of all government ministries dealing with connections with the Jewish world: the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs, the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Culture and Sport. The work will take place in small, diverse groups and will focus on the joint challenges facing Israel and the Jewish world and on the formulation of joint solutions thereto.
This initiative itself reflects the sense of mutual responsibility between the State of Israel and world Jewry to ensure the future of the Jewish people and maintain Israel’s enduring strength as the heart of the Jewish nation. It is being developed in light of indications that young Jews’ connections to their Jewish identity and to Israel are weakening.