Source: eJewish Phlanthropy
Minister of Diaspora Affairs and Minister of Education Naftali Bennett told a group of 160 leading Diaspora Jewish day school leaders representing over 30 countries at the First Global Jewish Education Summit this week, “we’re good when it comes to national security. What we’d really like to know is how we can help you strengthen Jewish identity and Jewish education in the Diaspora. Together, we must transmit not just a sense of shared history but a sense of a shared destiny, a mission.
The purpose of the Summit was to establish a global network of educators and Israeli leaders to tackle collaboratively a range of issues including the shortage of qualified Jewish Studies and Hebrew teachers in the Diaspora, a weakening connection between students and Israel, and a lack of alignment among teachers, parents, and students vis-a-vis the goals of Jewish education. With the power of the masses, it became evident that a challenge in Los Angeles may be addressed by the insights of educators in Mexico City. An innovative program in Montevideo may bring fresh excitement to a school in Prague. A shortage of resources in Germany may be remedied with the resources provided by Israeli institutions and organizations such as the Museum of the Jewish People, the National Library of Israel, or the Center for Educational Technology.
Some of the highlights of the conference included a presentation by Alex Pomson, Managing Director at Rosov Consulting. His research demonstrates that positive engagement with Israel is cultivated through activities that connect students to k’lal yisrael and not vice versa. “Students’ connection to Israel grows from their relationship to the Jewish people. Nurturing connections between students and Jews around the world contributes to their connection to Israel. Put differently, the road toward engagement with Israel runs through students’ relationships to other Jewish collectives, wherever they are found.”
Dvir Kahane, Director General of the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, summarized the main message of the Summit. He affirmed that the responsibility of a vibrant Jewish Diaspora does not fall solely on the shoulders of Jews who live in the Diaspora. “The quality of Jewish life in the Diaspora is Israel’s responsibility too. This is a partnership.” Indeed, it is now a global partnership where stakeholders from Hong Kong to Helsinki to Haifa are ready to roll up their sleeves and work together to strengthen k’lal yisrael in all parts of the world.
Read more at eJewish Philanthropy.