The Z3 Conference: Uniting the Diaspora and Israel Through Engagement

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Talia Klein Perez, Promoted Content
Promoted Content
Talia Klein Perez, Promoted Content
Promoted Content

Preparations are underway to convene North America’s largest conversation about Diaspora Jewry and Israel. Dozens of the world’s most influential speakers from the Jewish Diaspora and Israel will be discussing the critical issues of our times and helping to rethink the relationship between the two great centers of Jewish life. Participate in fascinating and dynamic breakout sessions on a variety of topics and expect to be stirred to action by attending this exceptional event.

The Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto, California is hosting the fifth annual Z3 Conference on Sunday, November 10. Part of the larger Z3 Project, the conference is a gathering of thought leaders from across the world and from across the political, religious and social spectrum to discuss the most relevant aspects of Jewish life today. It will feature a cross-generational conversation about identity, culture and social responsibility on multiple platforms including roundtables, workshops, music and art exhibitions.

Zack Bodner, OFJCC Chief Executive OfficerCredit: oshman family jcc palo alto

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The ongoing evolution of Zionism

The Z3 Project envisions Zionism as an evolving ideology, one that began the pre-1948 Zionism of pioneers like Theodore Herzl. It was then an ideology of nation-building and “Diaspora negation.” Today, innovative Jewish practices exist all over the world and North America is a great center of Jewish life. The question is how to reconcile the two great centers of Jewish life with one another.

The Z3 Project was created to promote a rejuvenated relationship between Diaspora Jewry and Israelis based on peoplehood, shared values and a common destiny through conferences, conventions and coalition building. “There is a lot of disagreement surrounding Israel’s politics, which is compounded by highly polarized and polarizing public discourse both in Israel and the USA” said Zack Bodner, the OFJCC’s Chief Executive Officer.

Setting a new agenda

Speaking about Israeli and American Jewish discourse, Bodner continued, “These trends are both challenges and opportunities, and the Z3 movement is our attempt to take charge of them.”This year’s conference, entitled 1 People, 2 Centers, 3 Opinions, recognizes these challenges and builds on them productively with a range of exceptional opinion leaders and opportunities for dialogue.

High-level thought leaders

Former Israeli Knesset leader Tzipi LivniCredit: adi orni

The speakers at this year’s conference are a star-studded group of award-winning politicians, journalists, religious leaders, and social activists from around the world. The diverse and dynamic talks will explore multiple identities and viewpoints and consider ways to find common ground.

Speakers this year include:

* Former Israeli Knesset leader Tzipi Livni

* Israeli law professor and Israeli Supreme Court candidate, Professor Ruth Gavison

* Brooklyn-based African-American Orthodox Jewish blogger, graphic artist and public speaker, MaNishtana

* Bret Stephens, Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist, editor, and columnist for the New York Times

* Yossi Klein Halevi, a senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, co-director for the Muslim Leadership Initiative

* Top Haaretz journalists from Israel

* Powerhouse spiritual leaders and activists Blu and Rabbi Yitz Greenberg

* Award-winning Israeli actress Mili Avital

Bret Stephens, Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist, editor, and columnist for the New York TimesCredit: to Jason Smith

For a complete list of speakers,click here.

Cross-demographic conversations

“This conference is an opportunity for people from across the political and religious spectrum to come together, something that we rarely see in our community,” says Rabbi Amitai Fraiman, Director of the Z3 Project. “Attendees will be engaged in a variety of modalities through different breakout sessions that they can choose from – panels, workshops with artists, movement workshops, conversation roundtables, music and art exhibitions. We’ll also be featuring speakers and welcoming attendees spanning different generations and special groups״.

Fraiman hopes attendees will become involved in the ongoing conversation relating to Gen Z Israel engagement, feminism and Zionism, Israel ex-pats and explore the questions of belonging and identity as a minority group in America.

This conference is a unique opportunity for people from across the political, social and religious spectrums to come together, something that is rare to see or experience.

The conference will take place in Palo Alto, California on Sunday November10, 2019, from 10:00 AMto 6:00 PM. Tickets include lunch and a cocktail reception.

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