Top leadership from 16 communities across the globe recently gathered in London, UK for an international conference that focused on creating a strategic plan for maintaining strong Jewish communities in the face of a changing world. Participants came from Canada, the United States, Europe, Australia and South Africa for five days of targeted seminars and workshops led by respected and renowned presenters, including Michael Strauss and Adi Strauss from Israel who led a session on Israeli philanthropy.
The invitation only conference, which ran January 21st-25th and focused on both local and global issues facing today’s Jewish community, was open to top young leadership figures from large-sized communities, both professional and lay. The first of its kind, Kolenu 2011 not only brought together high profile young leaders with similar concerns, but was also the first event planned jointly by UIA Federations Canada, Keren Hayesod and Jewish Federations of North America and was hosted by London UJIA.
The content of the sessions was tailored to meet the needs and interests of participating communities. At the start of the planning process, each invitee was asked to provide a list of challenges facing their local communities, and to propose topics of a more global nature that face world Jewry as a whole. This strategic planning ensured the relevance of each workshop, seminar and activity throughout the conference.
Linda Kislowicz, CEO, UIA Federation Canada, said that “the Kolenu conference was a valuable opportunity for professionals and lay leaders from large-size Jewish communities that share similar challenges to share best practices, create new practices and explore ways to work together in the future.”
Post-conference activities include a group project that will serve to strengthen the global network and continue the high level of strategic dialogue begun during the conference.