800 young Jewish leaders meet to powwow and tour
Some 800 young Jewish leaders will spend the day together today, touring and discussing, before the General Assembly of the United Jewish Communities opens this evening.
Dubbed Next Generation Day, this is the first year such an event will be held in conjunction with the GA.
The event, sponsored by the Samuel Bronfman Foundation, will bring together young adults from Israel and the United States "to discuss our common destiny as the Next Generation of the Jewish People," organizers said.
Participants include members of organizations including Hillel, Kol Dor, Atidim, Masa and the World Jewish Congress.
Today's activities will begin with a ceremony at Yad Vashem, with an address by Edgar M. Bronfman and GA co-chair Mark Wilf. After the opening ceremony, participants will split into 18 groups to visit sites in Jerusalem related to Jewish history and culture, and modern Israeli society.
In the afternoon, the participants will meet at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem for four sessions to discuss the morning's tours.
At the end of the day, participants will have a final session to "reflect on the day and on the challenges and opportunities of the next generation of Jewish leaders."
They will then join the General Assembly.
Holding a pre-GA event for future leaders was the idea of UJC senior vice president and director general of UJC Israel, Nachman Shai.
"I was impressed [at the GA] in Nashville last year to see a number of students from Hillel who were very active and energized throughout the whole GA and brought a lot of momentum and excitement to the room," he told Haaretz.
This year's event is unprecedented, he said. "I don't think we ever had such a thing, such a huge number of young people coming to Israel especially for an event like this. This is a very successful GA for the young generation," said Shai.