We Don’t Need a Peoplehood Parliament – Just People

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[This essay is from The Peoplehood Papers, volume 9 - The Collective Jewish Conversation: Its Role, Purpose and Place in the 21st Century - published by the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education.] by Jay Michaelson You know the joke: A Jew is found on a desert island, where he has built two synagogues. Why? “That’s the shul I go to,” he says, gesturing to one, “and that’s the one I won’t be caught dead in.” It’s true - we Jews love to build institutions, an affinity that has served us quite well over the centuries. But, like many once-advantageous national traits, this predilection for institution-building has run amok in recent years. I’m not sure anyone has counted, but surely the Jewish people has more institutions per capita than any other national or religious group on the planet. … [Read more...]

Kol Dor to Restructure

Kol Dor, an Israel based organization designed to connect the next generation of global Jewish leaders, is about to undergo a major re-organization. For most of the past year, a core group of members has been involved in strategy conversations on Kol Dor's future. Each individual that took part in the conversations was permitted to vote on the final strategy. During the past week, three proposals were put to vote. In an email last night to members of the Kol Dor community, the organization announced that 60% of those voting chose to continue Kol Dor independently and pursue a profit making arm through consultation services. "KolDor has already begun to make the transition to a beating heart. We will close down our operations, including terminating paid employees and services as of December … [Read more...]

Jewish Peoplehood Leadership Conference Launches

With a vision to contribute to the cohesiveness of the Jewish people, the International School of Jewish Peoplehood Studies (within Beit Hatfutsot) in collaboration with Israel's Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, the NADAV Foundation and KolDor hosted the first, of what is planned to be annual, Jewish Peoplehood Leadership and Entrepreneurship Conference. At yesterday's all-day event, several hundred participants gathered at Beit Hatfutsot to connect and re-connect. While the attendees crossed generations, many of them were "the usual suspects". That said, there was a fair mix of new, younger, faces coming from countries including France, Germany, Sweeden and Venezuela. During the opening plenary, new findings by the Jewish Peoplehood Closeness Index (PI) were presented. … [Read more...]

A New Level of Engagement in the Jewish Agency

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How many of us can't sleep at night because we are worried about the future of our Jewish community? I met someone this week, who told me in all sincerity, that his concern for his community’s collective future gives him no rest. So it was fitting that he, together with another two dozen participants of the Jewish Agency's Global Emerging Leaders Forum, were given open access, and serious time, to engage with the highest ranking lay leaders and professionals of JAFI, and those affiliated with it, in order to effect change in the Jewish world's most global organization. When I was invited as a member of the KolDor Global Executive to participate in the forum, I assumed that we would be cast in the role of many “Young Leadership” or “NextGen” forums, who are gathered to form merely an audience … [Read more...]

The ROI Global Summit, Take 4

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This evening, young Jewish leaders from twenty-nine countries will gather in Israel for the fourth annual ROI Global Summit for Young Jewish Innovators. The Summit, which runs through Thursday, is an innovative project of the Center for Leadership Initiatives (CLI), in partnership with Taglit-Birthright Israel. CLI was founded by American Jewish philanthropist Lynn Schusterman. This year, for the first time, and in celebration of Tel Aviv’s 100th birthday, the Summit will be held in nearby Kfar Maccabiah (Israel’s Olympic Village). Competition for the coveted 120 slots was fierce; CLI received nearly 600 applications from all over the world. This year’s outstanding innovators, all first time attendees, were chosen as 120 who are engaged in projects with the potential to change the face of the … [Read more...]

Collaboration: The Buzzword of the Day

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Ahead of the curve, again. KolDor and PresenTense, with a mutual grant form the Natan Fund, have partnered together in order to strengthen and leverage both networks, while globalizing the PresenTense network beyond North America and Israel. The venture will be overseen by a steering committee made up of representatives from both organizations. The program is made up of two symbiotic aspects: Mentorship - KolDorians will serve as mentors for members of PresenTense in order to answer questions facing the Jewish People and to catalyze ventures that will impact the Jewish world and beyond. Building these relationships across networks will facilitate the sharing of knowledge, tools, and connections and will create a strong young leadership in the Jewish world. Joint events - KolDor and … [Read more...]

Snapshots Around the World

Jews across the globe and across the spectrum of Jewish life and affiliation turned the Hebrew month of Cheshvan into a celebration of social action and unity. During this period, they participated in hundreds of valuable and inspiring social action projects that impacted thousands of people globally. Jewish Social Action Month (JSAM) was embraced by over 100 Jewish and non-Jewish organizations, ranging from major international and national institutions to the grassroots and local groups at the heart of so much social action. For the first time, JSAM leveraged the Internet so hundreds of individuals were able to connect to this global initiative. JSAM was launched in 2005 by KolDor, a global network of young Jewish activists, www.socialaction.com and Member Knesset Rabbi Michael Melchior in order … [Read more...]

One People. One Destiny. Jerusalem 2008

This year's GA opened in Jerusalem on Sunday night. With a plenary that saw a mix of lay and professional leaders from North America, communal professionals and invited guests from both Israel and the WZO, hundreds of young people from various MASA programs, KolDor, Hillel and young Israeli adults currently serving in the IDF all gathered together. And, in the view of many the musical parts of the program were the highlight of the night. Over the past two days, long attending GA participants from North America expressed a very different take to me than Israeli's and NextGen participants attending for the very first time. There is no question that a visitor's perspective to this GA was colored by 'where you are from'. But, let's hold that thought and go back to the preceding 24 hours. The … [Read more...]