Gary Rosenblatt, Editor and Publisher of The Jewish Week of New York, led a panel discussion today at the Israeli Presidential Conference focused on Tikkun Olam in the Jewish world. Panelists included Michael Siegal, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Federations of America, Israeli singer and activist Alma Zohar, Jude Williams, Chief Executive of the NGO Tzedek, Gal Lousky, CEO and founder of Israeli Flying Aid, and Dyonna Ginsburg, Director of Jewish Service learning at the Jewish Agency

 

Ginsberg began by speaking about the radically different world we live, a vastly different world than the one occupied by our grandparents. “With a radically new world comes a radically different responsibility,” she said. “Less than 1% of Israelis give to charitable causes abroad, Jewish and non-Jewish alike. We need to translate the popularity of the term Tikkun Olam and change it into fundamental action.”

 

Michael Siegal discussed the generational aspect of Tikkun Olam, describing the revolution that children can bring, and how that spirit can inspire change in the older generation.

 

Alma Zohar focused her remarks on her responsibility to address issues of social justice as an Israeli artist. “Most artists don’t talk about these things because the Israeli public doesn’t want to hear it,” she said. “I just figure that if you’re holding a microphone, and speaking to people, you better say something.”

 

Zohar, Ginsburg, and Lousky alike brought up the incredible potential of post army Israeli backpackers in third world countries, with Lousky highlighting her recruitment of post-army Israelis from elite units in her work in foreign countries. Ginsburg noted that if even 10% of the 30,000- 50,000 backpackers were interested in volunteering, it would provide a huge work force for social change.

 

Facing Tomorrow 2013 takes place from June 18-20, 2013 at Jerusalem's International Convention Center. The conference is organized in partnership with Hebrew University.

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About the Israeli Presidential Conference

The Fifth Israeli Presidential Conference 'Facing Tomorrow' will be held from June 18-20, 2013. The first conference took place in May 2008, one week after Israel celebrated its 60th year of independence, and on the basis of its success became an annual event. The conference is centered around discussions, panels and plenary sessions aimed at answering one question: how can we foster a better tomorrow for the international community, Israel and the Jewish world. For more information, please visitpresidentconf.org.il.