JCC Global Newsletter | July, 2015
Join us in congratulating Mark Ramer from New York and Menachem Revivi from Jerusalem who will assume the roles of JCC Global President and JCC Global Chair (respectively ) this coming November. Menachem Revivi is one of the founders and key leaders of JCC Global whose professional and volunteer career is attached to every milestone in contemporary Jewish life. Mark Ramer has been an outstanding leader in his home city of New York, focusing on Jewish education and community building. Joining JCC Global six years ago, Mark has become a strong supporter of Jewish Peoplehood initiatives.
Mark and Menachem are the current co-chairs of JCC Global’s flagship program: Amitim– Fellows- A Global Leadership Network. Please see their biographies below:
Dr. Mark Ramer, Incoming President
Mark Ramer was born in Wajbych, Poland, where his parents were liberated after WWII. At the age of four, the family spent a few months at a HIAS camp in Venice before moving to Israel. After three and a half years in Haifa, the family moved to New York. Mark is a graduate of NYU’s Dental School, practicing dentistry for ten years. He then made a career change and went into the realm of real estate.Mark is the current president of his synagogue: The Jewish Center of Atlantic Beach. Mark was the president of the Schechter Day School in Lawrence Long Island for fifteen years. He is a board member of the JCC of the Greater Five Towns, theJewish Education Project (formerly known as the BJE of New York) and UJA Federation of New York. Recently he sponsored a unique one year program for graduate students at Yeshiva University to train them in marketing and fundraising.
Mark is married to Naomi, who is a head and neck pathologist, currently the Director of the Oral and Maxillo Facial program at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. They are parents to three children and a proud grandparents to their first grandchild. They reside in Long Island, New York.
Menachem Revivi, Incoming Chair
Haifa born, Menachem Revivi, who holds a masters in Educational Psychology from NYU, has worked all his life, as both a professional and layman, in the field of Jewish education, world Jewry and community service. He has held a number of high-level management positions including:
- Director General of the Jewish Agency’s Education Department;
- Director of Human Resource Development for the JDC (ELKA);
- Director and Founder of the UJC (JFNA) Office in Israel;
- And has served as a shaliach (emissary) in the UK and the US as head of the North American Jewish Agency Delegation.
- CEO of Karev Initiatives in Education which was founded by the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies.
- Chair of the executive board, Sunrise Israel.
At JCC Global, Menachem served in key leadership positions for several decades. He was a volunteer Executive Director, initiated many leading programs, among them, the Tri Center Program that connects JCCs in three countries. He also served on the board of the Israel Association of Community Centers. Menachem is a board member of Ginot Ha’ir Community Center in Jerusalem and of Birthright. Menachem co-edited a book entitled, Jewish Peoplehood Change and Challenge, which was the climax of a special project, initiated and run by him, to define and assess the importance of the collective Jewish experience. Leading Jewish thinkers and philosophers participated in the project. Married to Adina, they are parents to three children and proud grandparents to fourteen grandchildren. They reside in Jerusalem.
Confirmed keynote speakers include:
300 delegates from 30 countries expected to attend
- North America, JCCA
- Latin America – MWU and CLAM; CDI Mexico
- France, FSJU
- Europe, EAJCC / ECJC
- FSU, JDC
- Israel, IACC; IFCC
- India, JDC
Global Art Projects London Seminar, May 2015
JCC’s of Greater Toronto, Redbridge JCC London England and the Eilot Israel Region JCC – participants in the JCC Global Amitim-Fellowship, met for a week long seminar to explore ways of communicating personal Jewish journeys through visual arts. The Visual Arts Project – “My Jewish Journey” – aims to provide an opportunity for community members and artists to showcase their work in galleries connected to the three centres, while at the same time being a part of a network of inspiring and innovative Jewish communities. Selected community member’s artworks will be shown in partnership with JCC’s in London, England, and Eilot Israel. Read more in the Toronto notice to community.
Expanding our Beautiful Jewish Community (Special Needs) London Seminar, June 2015
“No decision about me, without me” – this core statement presented by Janet Leech, the Head of Learning Disabilities at Enfield Council in London at the conclusion of JCC Global’s Amitim Fellows Special Needs Seminar captures the essence of a groundbreaking experience. Executive directors, senior staff members and volunteers from the Mazal Tov JCC in Zaporizhzhia (Ukraine), the Shore Front Y in New York and the Eilat Community Centers in Israel gathered in London to learn about the services and programs provided for individuals with special needs as part of their effort to make their own JCCs and JCCs around the world more inclusive. Now they are developing new models of training volunteers.[Staff members from Zaporizhzhia JCC, Ukraine, Eilat Community Centers, Israel and Shorefront YM-YWHA, USA were inspired by the London models of inclusion and are now developing new models of training volunteers. ]
Family Tree Mexico Seminar, June 2015
HAMSA JCC Global Madrichim Fellowship Budapest Seminar, July 2015
On June 25th, 19 teens embarked on a 10-day journey exploring global Jewish peoplehood and leadership in Hungary! The teens spent a weekend in Budapest, exploring the Jewish history of the city at the Dohany Street Synagogue, the largest in Europe, the Buda Castle, and lastly, experienced Havdallah on a boat cruise on the Danube River. During Havadallah, the teens organized a ceremony on their own, with one participant, David from Marks JCH saying: “One thing I realize that many don’t do enough is go outside of their comfort zone…This experience is amazing and only the 19 of us will get an opportunity like this so I want to share why it is special to me”, inspiring the rest of the teens to go around and highlight their feelings of the trip so far, only two days in! Many expressed feeling that they created a family here in Hungary, and although they all came from different backgrounds and spoke different languages at home, they had created an everlasting new Jewish community.
In Szarvas Camp, the teens began exploring their individual identities deeper and the responsibility they felt towards their local Jewish communities. They brainstormed ideas for projects they could bring home and the impact they wanted to make on their communities. Daniel, a participant from Israel, who is also a madricha in Tzofim, told the group that she felt it was her responsibility to influence and mentor the younger generation. She said, “I am taking the confidence that I developed in myself and the skills of how to be a leader with me when I get home”. The teens participated in sessions with the Hamsa coordinators and Zsusha Fritz, focusing on communal responsibility and emphasizing the differences between leadership and Jewish leadership, where Lauren from JCCGW said, “Jewish leadership is about someone who is Jewish advancing the reputation of the Jewish community”, encouraging the rest of the participants to focus on what they bring to Jewish peoplehood. The participants also spent one week in Szarvas, interacting and participating in activities with Jewish teens from over 20 countries as they danced, sang, performed, swam, and biked with international Jewish specialists. It was awe-inspiring to witness so many teens struggle with language and building connections simply through playing basketball or a game of “durak”. “The only difference between us is language but we all have the same mind like old friends…no matter what we look like or what we do, we are all just as Jewish”. (Hannah, JCC of Manhattan).