Read more about conference highlights, photos, videos and articles in the JCC Global January, 2016 Newsletter.

More than 500 presidents and executive directors of Jewish Community Centers from 24 countries convened in Jerusalem, November 1-6, 2015 for JCC Global’s 2nd Amitim-Fellows Conference and the 9th World Conference of JCCs.

Thank you conference supporters and donors

9th World Conference SponsorsWith more than 1,000 JCCs worldwide, they represent the largest global Jewish network. In a post survey conducted by Dr. Ezra Kopelowitz, 95.6% said the conference was a success. 91.2% said the conference contributed to their desire to attend other JCC Global program and activities. Participants reported that the conference contributed to strengthening the connection to other Jewish communities (100 %,) the ability to develop joint global projects (95 %,) networking with others who have similar interests (92.5 %,) understanding of other Jewish communities (92.3 %,) involvement as a leader in their Jewish community (85 %,) and the desire to contribute to the Jewish People (82.5 %.)

Highlights of the Amitim-Fellows Conference included:

  • Opening evening at the French Hill community center with speaker Rabbi Talia Avnon-Benvenisti from Beit Hatfutsot
  • Outdoor team building workshop at the Jerusalem Zoo followed by a meeting with the Zoo’s executive director Shai Doron to learn about multi culturalism in their educational work
  • Three track visits around Jerusalem to learn about the role of the JCC in promoting a vibrant civil society (cultural arts, minorities and next generation) followed by a meeting at the Jerusalem Municipality
  • A fascinating lecture by Maxine Fassberg, VP of Intel bringing her experience of running a global company to the world of nonprofits.
  • A workshop utilizing the Learning from Success model to analyze the global projects
  • A workshop for the global projects to continue developing global projects and assessing challenges.
  • What’s next? A session to receive feedback from Fellows and plan next steps.

Highlights of the 9th World Conference of JCCs included:

  • A session on Jews living today in Europe with senior leaders from all across Europe
  • An opening dinner event with Micah Goodman, key note speaker on Jewish Peoplehood
  • A plenary with top leaders of JCC networksDr. Stephen Hazan Arnoff, CEO and president, JCC Association of North America (JCCA,) Aviad Friedman, chair, Israel Association of Community Centers (IACC,) Latin America: Anabella Jaroslavsky, executive director, Confederation of Latin American Maccabi Community Centers (CLAM,) and Diego Ornique, Director or JDC Europe to discuss their regional perspectives, how do they see global collaborations, and what are they bringing to the global table.
  • A Doors and Doorways interactive workshop in 30 small groups of people from different countries discussing the values of space, gateway keepers and outreach in their communities followed by an interactive grand art project was conducted by David Moss and Elyssa Moss Rabinowitz. 25 facilitators from around the world led the small group discussion and work.
  • JGlobal Talks (TED style) on thinking local and acting global with Mark Shapiro, president and CEO, Harry and Rose Samson Family JCC, Milwaukee, USA,Mario Izcovich, director, Pan European Programs and Leatid, JDC Europe, Barcelona, Spain, Kineret Kahana, deputy director, Ginot Ha’ir Community Council, Jerusalem, Israel and Zack Bodner, CEO, Oshman Family JCC, Palo Alto, USA
  • A networking expo presenting 35 programs that connect Jewish communities around the world, including the 7 Amitim- Fellows projects.
  • A plenary with Diana Pinto, a leading historian from Paris focused on the recent political and social trends in Europe and included firsthand personal impressions of life in Europe today from members of the large European delegation. Followed by remarks from Ofer Glantz, CPO, JDC
  • An opinion survey on Jewish identity, personal security and Israel relations was conducted of delegates with results released during the conference. Main speakers included:
  • Track visits in Jerusalem on various themes, most of them also showcasing Amitim projects: cultural arts, ecology, special needs, women and teen engagement.
  • A plenary on the sustainability of Jewish Peoplehood programs with Vivian Saade Metta from Mexico, Jerry Spitzer from New York and Raya Strauss Ben Dor from Israel, chaired by Hillel Schmid.
  • A final event at Bible Lands Museum where teens from Moldova, Venezuela and Israel who participated in the Global Mekorock Seminar preformed lyrics and music that they wrote during the week in three languages culminating with a joint song in all three languages about the way music binds cultures.