Since 2004, the Jerusalem Inter-Cultural Center has a strategic partner in New-York – Cause-NY (of the JCRC-NY), headed by Rabbi Bob Kaplan. This partnership is available through our shared program, the New-York Jerusalem Experts Exchange, connecting experts and professionals in Israel, New York and other places around the world. Professionals involved in this network work in the fields of diversity, coalition building, community organizing and dialogue. The program is funded by UJA-Federation of New York and the Jewish Agency For Israel.
One aspect of this fascinating exchange is our joint facilitation of a series of webinars on topics that interest a specific community of activists globally. Previous series were on issues such as cultural competence in health, cultural competence at the workplace, community resilience and more. The new series we started this week deals with “Tikkun Olam” and involves Israeli and Jewish experts and volunteers from all over the world who focus on helping people outside the Israeli/Jewish community.
The first webinar was on “the Jewish Response to Genocide” (see the Israeli and American invitations). The 30 participants were from the US, Israel, London and San Paulo. The first presentation was by DR. WILLIAM RECANT, Assistant Executive Vice-President, the Joint Distribution Committee. He focused on the “Agahozo Shalom Youth Village”, for kids who survived the genocide in Rwanda. This village is based on a similar project that was conducted in Israel in the 50’s for kids survivors of the Holocaust.
Next, RUTH MESSINGER & GITTA ZOMORODI, respectively the President and Senior Policy Associate of the American Jewish World Service, gave a presentation about their work in Darfour. The last presentation, by YIFTACH MILLO, Director of ASSAF, the Aid Organization for Refugees & Asylum Seekers, provided an analysis of genocide as a recurring phenomenon in modern Africa.
Altogether this was an excellent opening to the series. The next webinar in this series will be held in mid-January 2009.