Does the UJC really understand all the various reasons why this (the following article) was the case; where was their responsibility in countering this trend. And more important, how are they positioning themselves to help reverse it – because it is certainly endemic of a larger issue.
from today’s Jerusalem Post:
All but ignored by the Hebrew-speaking press as they gathered in Jerusalem this week, American Jewish professionals and activists have lashed out at the Israeli media and society for failing to notice – and learn from – another Jewish community nearly as large as their own..
“They don’t understand the community, the day-to-day work of charity and volunteering, people devoting their whole lives to these things,” agreed Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. “The Israeli media’s disdain is not new. It’s responsible for a lot of the gap in knowledge about American Jewry [among Israelis].”
Meanwhile, here are some aditonal news stories on the GA from the American Jewish press:
from The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle:
“I think we don’t appreciate ourselves as much as we should be,” said Frielich, one of several Israeli participants (Noa Frielich, a student at Ben-Gurion University and part of the Hillel contingent). “We are not the Next Gen, we are the current leaders. Maybe some of the people who are current leaders, to them it doesn’t make sense, or they can’t believe it that we are the current leaders and we have the power to do things. But I see it now in the States with the elections. I see it now in Israel. A lot of young people just won their municipality elections. And there is a lot of movement of young people. I feel it. I feel the spirit of change. It’s a lot because of the people that came here today.”
from the Forward:
But not everybody found the discussions so constructive. “They have been on a level of vague platitudes — but nobody expects the G.A. to be anything but a greet-and-shmooze,” said Jay Shofet, director of the New Israel Fund’s arm Shatil. “For Israeli NGOs, the slowdown is a huge situation, but it feels like for the federations, it is just a bump in the road.”