Shmuel Rosner, a columnist, editor and fellow at The Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI), led an expert panel on the future of Jewish leadership in which participants outlined their own journeys to leadership and highlighted current challenges and criteria for building the next generation of leaders.
Yohanna Arbib Perugia, Chairman of the Keren Hayesod-UIA World Board of Trustees, said that Zionism, the love for Israel and the Jewish people is the spark that compels her to lead. She highlighted that the Hebrew word for leader -“manhig”– is derived from the Hebrew word for behavior “manhigut.” She emphasized the importance of Jewish values and placing them at the heart of one’s vision, with education being the foundation of this process.
When asked about what qualities he looks for in a leader, Malcolm Hoenlein, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, answered, “Just what Moses told Joshua, -chazak ve'amaztz - strong and with good courage. Strong in one’s convictions and courage to act on them.” He stressed that leaders must be rooted in Jewish values and have innate passion, since it is not something that can be learned. He urged everyone to look beyond their own personal prejudices and instead focus on uniting people together, because with unity, anything is possible.
Other panel participants included Eliana Rudee, a participant in the Career Israel Program, Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Mechon Hadar and Jeremy Newmark, Chief Executive of the Jewish Leadership Council.
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.