A Message from Rebecca Caspi, Senior Vice President, Israel and Overseas
These last few months in Israel have certainly been eventful. The incredible return home of Gilad Shalit, ongoing doctors’ strike, controversial legislation under discussion in the Knesset and, unfortunately, security threats, are only some of the topics grabbing headlines. Through all this, Federations – both individually and collectively – continue to find creative and meaningful ways to connect with Israel.
At JFNA Israel, we see the impact of these efforts every day – from summer camps for Carmel fire victims to employment initiatives that help integrate the ultra-Orthodox and Arab populations into Israel’s workforce; and the arrival of Ethiopian immigrants to innovative programs designed to enhance life in Israel’s geographic periphery. Continued flare-ups in the South mean that JFNA remains in close contact with our partners at JAFI and JDC, as well as national and local government to ensure that we maintain a high level of emergency preparedness.
Of course, we are always thrilled by the opportunity to welcome Federation missions and visitors to Israel. Thanks to all of you – this has been a “thrilling” period and we are anticipating a high number of visitors between now and the new year!
GA2011 was a great opportunity to gather and explore a wide range of Israel and overseas subjects. We thank those of you who joined the Israel and Overseas Institute or the exciting Israeli breakfast focused on this summer’s social protests – and hope that everyone on site in Denver took the opportunity to attend sessions designed to highlight and build on Federations' incredible work in the field.
We are excited about the new Global Planning Table which was approved by JFNA’s Board of Trustees at their post-GA meeting. Look for an announcement coming soon re two webinars that will provide you with the opportunity to sign on and learn more about this important new initiative.
It is with reluctance that I bid farewell to Shep Remis, outgoing Chair of Israel and Overseas, who is leaving his role after three years in the position. I cannot thank Shep enough for his tireless work and wise counsel throughout his tenure.
With that, it’s my privilege to welcome our incoming Chair – Saby Behar of Miami. The JFNA Israel and Overseas team join together in wishing wish Saby a successful and productive term!
In closing, please enjoy this edition of our I & O Newsletter. And, please feel free to share your comments and suggestions about this publication, our web site and our ongoing efforts. We welcome your input and appreciate the opportunity it provides to ensure that we bring you the most relevant and useful information and engagement opportunities.
Shalom and best wishes,
Emergency Preparedness in Israel
Miami Federation's direct encounter with emergency preparedness work in Israel
The 2011 GA in Colorado hosted several key JFNA Israel sessions, in particular, the pre-GA Israel & Overseas Institute and the session 'What do Israelis care about anyway?'/ Details on the sessions, including interesting poll data on Israeli concerns, can be found on the I&O website.
The 2011 GA was a platform for discussion and investigation regarding development of the Negev. 'Making Ben Gurion's Dream a Reality: The Negev from Now to 2010' was one session which highlighted the progress being made.