Israel to Host International Conference on Homeland-Diaspora Relations

Dozens of senior representatives from over thirty countries will gather in Jerusalem next week (Monday, March 6 through Wednesday, March 8) for an international conference of diaspora affairs officials from around the world, hosted by The Jewish Agency for Israel in partnership with the Knesset and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Participants in the International Seminar on the Diaspora-Homeland Relationship will include deputy ministers, ministry department heads, ambassadors, and senior parliamentarians, who will visit Jewish Agency programs, interact with Members of Knesset, and attend practical workshops on Israel’s experience maintaining ties with Jewish communities around the world.

Participants will meet with Jewish Agency shlichim; experience The Jewish Agency’s Partnership2Gether peoplehood platform; and learn about The Jewish Agency’s loan funds, which enable Diaspora Jews to strengthen small businesses in Israel and play an active role in the country’s socioeconomic development. They will also participate in workshops on immersive experiences – like Taglit-Birthright Israel, Masa Israel Journey, and Onward Israel – and leadership development among Diaspora Jews, as well as on financial resource development and language and identity acquisition.

In recent years, many countries have become aware of the importance of their national diasporas and of strengthening ties between members of those diasporas and their homelands. The idea of transforming the national diaspora into an inseparable part of the nation and sometimes into a strategic asset is gradually becoming part of the political consciousness in many countries. Along with the general awareness of the importance in maintaining ties with diaspora communities, questions arise regarding ways in which language and culture can be maintained abroad, young people can be brought to experience their national homeland, and entire communities in the homeland and abroad can be connected through social activities, philanthropy, and financial investments.

Government officials from the following countries are expected: Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Switzerland and Vietnam.