14 Cheshvan, 5764
The Jewish Agency for Israel Assembly
Crown Plaza Holiday Inn Hotel
November 14-16, 2003
Friday, November 14 - Plenary Sessions
8:30-9:15 - Opening Keynote Plenary
Dvar Torah: Rabbi Vernon Kurtz, President MERCAZ, USA
Keynote Address: Sallai Meridor, Chairman of the Assembly
9:15-10:30 - The Economic Situation in Israel: Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
10:30-11:15 - Viewpoint: Opposition Leader, MK Shimon Peres
Breakout and Breakthrough:
11:30 - 13:30 Choose from 3 Concurrent Sessions: "Keeping the Jewish State Jewish"
Conversion - Issues and Impact
An estimated 300,000 olim who are not halachically Jewish have come to Israel in the past decade. This is a strategic challenge for the Jewish people and for Israel. What are the issues? What are the obstacles? How are they being addressed? What are the red lines?
Prof. Yaakov Neeman, Former Justice Minister
Prof. Benjamin Ish Shalom, Chairman of the Board of the Institute for Jewish Studies
Brigadier General Elazar Stern, Chief IDF Education Officer
The Jewish People Policy Planning Institute Presents:
The "State of the Union" of the Jewish People
Israel and World Jewry
The Jewish People Facing the World Community
The Jewish People Policy Planning Institute is about to complete its first annual estimate of the situation and dynamics of the Jewish people. In a special two pronged session, the JPPPI will provide a preview of the findings of this estimate and a presentation of the methodology utilized by Brigadier General (Res) Amos Gilboa in this ambitious project.
Minister Natan Sharansky
Ambassador Avi Gil, Former Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Former Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister's Office
Brigadier General (Res) Amos Gilboa, Former Head of Estimation in the IDF
Dr. Steven Nasatir, CEO Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago
Ambassador Zalman Shoval
Olim By Choice - The Time Has Come
How do we transform an aliyah supportive public into major players on behalf of aliyah? The new concept of "olim by choice" involves commitment on the part of the Government of Israel, economic initiatives by local councils and communities, and concrete plans to absorb olim by choice so that they come, they stay and they succeed. Their success will be Israel's success and Israel's success will be the success of the Jewish people. Join us as we explore this exciting topic.
Minister of Absorption Tzipi Livni
Prof. Sergio DellaPergola, Director, Unit for Demography, Hebrew University
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, President, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews
Mike Rosenberg, Director General, Jewish Agency Aliyah and Klitah Department
Moderator Alan Shulman, Co-Chair, Aliyah and Klitah subcommittee on Western Aliyah
Friday, November 14 - Young Leadership Track
8:30-11:00 Young Leaders are invited to join Assembly morning plenaries until after the address of Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
11:30-14:00 Brunch and meeting between young professionals from abroad and top level aides to Israel Government ministers. In expertly facilitated round table discussions, participants will share views and perspectives from Israel and abroad on their own roles vis-a-vis empowering the next generation and on how they can impact on actively involving young people in the Jewish future. Israeli, North American and European young leaders will be included.
"Hineini - I Am Here, I Am Ready"
Friday Evening, Lel Shabbat, November 14, 2003
At a time when strengthening Jewish unity and renewing strong partnerships are number one priorities for all of us, this is an opportunity to join other Assembly members from all over the world in prayer, study and meaningful dialogue. Our Shabbaton theme, "Hineini- I Am Here, I Am Ready" speaks of our willingness to be counted and to get involved. Friday evening will include a festive dinner, an address by a leading figure and zmirot Shabbat (Shabbat songs) led by our own young JAFI counselors, who have traveled throughout the world bringing JAFI's message of contemporary Zionism to Jewish communities.
The Beit Midrash textual study sessions, following Shabbat morning prayer services, will be dynamic, interactive and designed to engage and challenge participants. They will be led by top educators representing the streams.
We will enjoy a special performance of scenes from Hyam Maccoby's highly acclaimed play, "The Disputation," which has been performed to rave reviews in London, Miami and Jerusalem.
A full luncheon buffet, with an address by a noted speaker will follow.
Shabbat will conclude with a Havadalah ceremony, with a moving musical transition between Shabbat and the work week.
16:00 - Candle Lighting
16:30 - Shabbat Services
18:00 - Shabbat Dinner
Address: Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Chief Rabbi, Efrat; Dean, Ohr Torah Stone Institutions
Shabbat Songs led by Rafi Barnett, Director, South Africa and Oceania Regional Team and JAFI Counselors
20:00 - Young Leadership: "Accepting the Torch":
The Jewish Agency, through its People-to-People Center, is one of the early and significant partners and supporters of the KolDor initiative in which young leaders throughout the world come together to shape a common global Jewish agenda for the future of the Jewish people. Committed to connecting people, the Jewish Agency's People to People Center is working with KolDor out of the conviction that young people recognize and accept their responsibility to determine a set of initiatives and to set the foundation for implementing those initiatives.
This will be an open and frank round table discussion.
With Major General (Res) Uzi Dayan.
Speakers will include young leadership representatives from Israel and abroad.
Shabbat Morning, November 15
8:30-10:30 - Shabbat Services
10:30 - Kiddush
11:00-12:30 - Batei Midrash Study Sessions -Textual Study of Biblical Texts
According to the weekly Torah portion, Abraham's progeny will become a great and mighty nation, through which all the nations of the world will be blessed. If they follow God's way, doing charity and justice, He will fulfill His promises to Abraham.
Has this Biblical prophecy been realized yet? How do we follow God's way? How does it apply to modern times?
Leading scholars from all the streams will address the above questions through a study of classical texts. These exciting sessions, including one encounter specially designed for "young leadership," will engage and challenge participants, providing a fresh twist to the Traditional Beit Midrash method of studying Torah!
Rabbi Tamar Duvdevani, Director of the Beit Midrash at Beit Shmuel, Educational Center of The Movement for Progressive Judaism
Rabbi David Rosen, Head of International Inter-religious Relations Activities at American Jewish Committee, Formerly Director of the Anti-Defamation League's Israel Office, Formerly Chief Rabbi of Ireland
Rabbi Hanan Alexander, Leader in University of Judaism of the Conservative Movement; Professor, Haifa University
Young Leadership Beit Midrash: Rabbi Ian Pear, Rabbi of Shir Chadash, a growing dynamic young congregation
12:30-13:30 - Live Performance Of Scenes From Play, "The Disputation"
This highly acclaimed play, written by renowned scholar, Hyam Maccoby, recreates the famous Barcelona debate in the year 1263 between Christianity and Judaism where Nachmanides (the Ramban) represented the Jews in a disputation between himself and Pablo Christiani, an apostate Jew, at the command and in the presence of King James of Aragon. The play highlights the debate and at the same time reveals the humanity of the characters with all their fearlessness, frailties and eccentricities. Nachmanides, one of Judaism's most subtle and expressive minds, attempted to present his arguments without endangering his people. Like other debates staged by the Church in order to discredit the Jews, the Jews were placed in a no-win situation. As playwright Maccoby put it, "When the lion invites a mouse to a disputation, the mouse, however fond he may be of arguing, will do well to avoid the invitation. For the poor mouse does not know what to fear most, losing the argument or winning it."
13:30-15:00 - Shabbat Buffet Luncheon
Address: Rabbi Meir Azari, Director, Beit Daniel Center for Progressive Judaism
Shabbat Songs -- Young JAFI Counselors
17:15 - Musical Havdalah Ceremony
Saturday Evening, November 15
21:00 World Jewish Café
Yevgeny Shapovalov and Shlomit Aharon, one of Israel's most spectacular duos, whose repertoire ranges from opera to the top 10
Sunday Morning, November 16 - Assembly Closing Plenary
8:30 - Minister Natan Sharansky
9:00 - Presentation of Jewish Agency Activities
9:45 - Salute to Yad Va-Shem
10:00 - Resolutions of the Jewish Agency Assembly
11:00 - International P2K Conference
20:30 - Assembly Closing/GA Opening
For additional information contact
the Office of the Spokesman:
Liaisons to Foreign Press and Media
Jewish Agency for Israel