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Over 50 Top Jewish Leaders to Meet on Negev in Miami

North American and Israeli professional and lay leaders to discuss Israel’s southern desert region

United Jewish Communities/Jewish Federations of North America will convene in Miami on May 17-18 to discuss opportunities for the growth of Israel’s Negev region at a first-of-its-kind conference. Initiated by the Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey and the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, it will welcome representatives from Jewish federations across North America

The meeting, to be hosted by the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, will be attended by lay leaders and professionals invested in Israel’s South as well as those federations, agencies and individuals who are interested in learning more about the area. The group will hold discussions with some of the foremost leaders and experts from the region, including former Israel Labor Party Chairman and current Mayor of Yerucham Amram Mitzna.

Through interactive sessions – with participants playing multiple roles as presenters, respondents, and chairs – the group will deepen its understanding of the current challenges in the region, share collective knowledge, and explore new philanthropic options.

This year’s conference, chaired by Marilyn Blumer, a past-president of Montreal Federation CJA and chair of the UJC Negev Work Group, will place special emphasis on strategic partnerships, opening up new opportunities for ongoing collaboration.

"I am pleased that the UJC Negev Work Group has been involved in the preparation of this conference. Our goal is to work together as federations to promote and help strengthen the Negev," said Blumer.

According to UJC Senior Vice President: Israel and Overseas Division and UJC Israel’s Director General Rebecca Caspi, “Never before have so many committed and talented people come together in North America to discuss the special needs of the Negev. We at UJC are proud to be convening this gathering and excited by the potential it presents. This is an example of how federations can come together to have a strategic impact.”

Topics to be discussed during the sessions include economic and community development, including attracting, integrating and retaining young people; education; the impact of Israel Defense Force bases moving to the area; and the Bedouin community.

Yerucham Mayor Amram Mitzna, Ramat Hanegev Mayor, Chair of the Negev Development Authority Shmulik Riffman, Ofakim Mayor Zvika Greengold and other issue and programmatic leaders in the field will provide their perspective on a host of key issues.

“While so many people concentrate on the major strategic, military, diplomatic and geo-political issues of the Middle East, it is indeed heartening to see committed people focus on the Negev and its special needs. I am greatly encouraged by the enthusiasm and professionalism of this group and salute the UJC – and all those involved – for their foresight and passion. Generations have spoken about the Negev; now is the time to create real change,” said Mitzna of the upcoming conference.

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Conference Chair Marilyn Blumer of Montreal FEDERATION CJA with Amram Mitzna, former Labor Party chair and mayor of Yerucham. 





From left, Yuval Shefi, director of the New Yerucham Fund, Dahlia Ben-David of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, Mayor Amram Mitzna of Yerucham, and Bobbie Higer of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.




From left, Lisa Lisser and Max Kleinman of United Jewish Communities MetrroWest and Zvika Greengold, mayor of Ofakim, speak with Amir Shacham, also of UJC MetroWest.






From left, Allan Nyman of the Jewish Federation of Palm Springs and the Desert Area, Ofir Fisher of the OR Movement, and Ellen Yarrow of Montreal FEDERATION CJA. 

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