On November 13th, 2012, I was given the exciting opportunity to represent the Weinberg Fellowship at the General Assembly of Jewish Federations of North America. The conference is designed to inspire and engage current and emerging Jewish leaders, tackle the most critical issues of the day, and showcase the best of the Federation movement. I was honored to highlight the Weinberg Fellowship of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles as a unique program that has a lasting, significant impact on those who are selected to participate. I spoke at the session entitled “From Apathy to Advocacy: Inspiring and Training Students to Actively Support Israel.”
I first discussed the Weinberg Fellowship and then sat on a panel with David Dabscheck, the Deputy Managing Director of the Israel Action Network. Catherine Schneider, Senior Vice President of Community Engagement of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, led the panel, asking insightful questions focused on the Jewish community and its efforts to inspire high school students to advocate for Israel. Considering the recent crises in Israel and the global media’s often questionable portrayal of Israel, the conversation was especially relevant.
Attended primarily by Jewish Federation engagement leaders and leaders of Hillel chapters on college campuses, the specific goals and achievements of the Weinberg Fellowship resonated strongly throughout the Jewish community. After the session, many attendees approached me and Catherine to discuss the Fellowship further, hoping to replicate the program in their own communities.
I want to take this opportunity to thank Camp Ramah in the Berkshires for its contributions to my development as a globally conscious Jewish adult. My times at Ramah have completely altered my perspective, encouraging Judaism to become a defining force in my life. I want to encourage you to apply to programs similar to the Weinberg Fellowship in your own communities and strive to make Judaism relevant in your lives.
This was an unforgettable opportunity, and seeing my Camp Ramah community, young and old, represented at the General Assembly was inspiring.