With a just few weeks left until Israel’s 75th anniversary, the leadership of the Jewish Federations of North America is finalizing plans for this year’s General Assembly, to be held in Tel Aviv starting on April 23.
More than 2,100 representatives from Jewish communities in the United States and Canada are expected to attend.
Among this year’s highlights will be a program at Latrun—the site of fierce fighting during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence—to mark the start of Yom Hazikaron, a day of remembrance for Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror, which begins on the evening of April 24. The event will be hosted by MASA Israel Journey, which provides long-term immersive programs for thousands of young Jews, many of whom will attend.
In advance of the opening of the General Assembly, JFNA will host its inaugural “Jews of Color Mission.” Two dozen leaders from North America and Israel who identify as such are participating in the program and spending Shabbat together in Jerusalem.
Julie Platt, board chair of JFNA, said bringing together thousands of federation leaders to celebrate Israel’s 75th anniversary “is a testament to our unbreakable commitment to the Jewish State and to the everlasting bonds between our two communities.”
“Along with the celebrations, we will engage in dialogue with Israeli leaders around issues of concern to our communities, as we continue to raise our voices out of deep love for Israel and the Israeli people,” she said.
Among topics slated for this year’s conference are an exploration of Israel’s Law of Return, and whether the separation of religion and state is possible; a look at Israel’s ongoing role as a global leader in technology; and how the Abraham Accords have led to increased interworkings with Gulf States as well as initiatives to help battle climate change.
In addition to JFNA, the opening ceremonies are being sponsored by the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Hayesod and the World Zionist Organization. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Isaac Herzog are expected to address the audience.