Dallas leadership participates in General Assembly
Photo: Courtesy JFGD
While in Israel for the General Assembly in April, JFGD leadership met with March of the Living Dallas staff. From left are Phil Glauben, Rabbi Michael Kushnick, Igor Alterman and Pam Hochster Fine.

This year’s largest gathering of Jewish professionals and lay leaders meets in Israel


In April, lay and professional leadership from the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas (JFGD) were in Israel with thousands of fellow Jewish community leaders and members from around the world to celebrate Israel’s 75th year of independence. The Israel at 75 General Assembly (GA) was hosted by the Jewish Federations of North America in partnership with Keren Hayesod, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the World Zionist Organization.

Amid this monumental time in Israel’s history, professionals and volunteers from JFGD heard from leading figures in Israel and the global Jewish community, attended high-level educational sessions on issues concerning Israel and the diaspora and observed Yom HaZikaron (Israel’s Memorial Day) and Yom HaAtzmaut (Israel’s Independence Day) with Israelis and global Jewish patrons. Speakers at the GA included Israel’s President Isaac Herzog, Member of the Knesset Yair Lapid and other North American and Israeli leadership and elected officials.

“The Jewish Federation exists to help ensure the continuity of a strong and vibrant Jewish community in Dallas, Israel and throughout the world. Being in Israel, especially during meaningful days like Memorial Day and Independence Day, helps us continue to do so by strengthening the deep and impactful relationship between the Dallas Jewish community, Israel and the global Jewish network,” said Igor Alterman, JFGD president and CEO, who led the Dallas delegation.

In addition to building relationships with Jewish leaders from around the world, attendees learned about and discussed prominent issues facing the global Jewish community. Sessions covered topics including innovation in connecting North Americans with Israel, innovation in strengthening Israeli society and Israeli innovation driving global change. The recent and ongoing political and social strife in Israel facing the nation also rose to the forefront, sparking thought-provoking conversations.

“The American Jewish community has a voice in conversations about the future of Israel and global Jewry. We are welcome and invited by Israeli and global Jewish leadership to engage in the discourse surrounding issues affecting our community,” commented Michelle Golan Friedman, JFGD’s director of community relations and public affairs. At the GA, President Herzog announced a new initiative called “Kol Ha’am — Voice of the People.” Introduced as a response to growing polarization within the Jewish community, the new forum seeks to enhance global Jewish dialogue and develop young Jewish leadership.

Also in Israel were two March of the Living cohorts from Dallas, from Akiba Yavneh Academy and Congregation Anshai Torah. March of the Living (MOL) is a two-week experience during which teens and adults from all over the world travel together to Poland and to Israel to learn about the Jewish people’s past, present and future. The Israel Scholarship Committee of JFGD and the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation awarded scholarships to a number of participants on MOL to make their trips possible. Akiba Yavneh Academy’s MOL program is also funded by a Jewish Federation Impact Grant.

“Supporting Israel is our way of ensuring the Jewish future for our kids and, one day, our grandkids,” said Shiva Beck, a JFGD board member, who was also at the GA with her husband, Jarrod. “Being in Israel at a time during which we could honor those who have given their lives for the Jewish state and, at the same time, celebrate all of Israel’s accomplishments and opportunities over the past 75 years was unlike any other experience, and we felt honored to have taken part in such a momentous occasion.” 

In light of the monumental 75th anniversary of Israel’s independence and challenges facing the global Jewish community today, JFGD’s lay and professional leaders work together in a collaborative manner to help build a stronger, more resilient Jewish community that is prepared to face the challenges of the future. By working together and staying true to shared values and vision, Jewish Dallas aims to build a brighter future for the Jewish community, both here and abroad.

—Submitted by 
The Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas

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