YOUNG people in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth gathered together for the launch of “Asepha Kehilatit” (Community Assembly) in honour of late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin – who was assassinated 26 years ago – on November 7.
During the event, participants from all of Australia’s Zionist youth movements as well as from other Jewish organisations discussed Rabin’s legacy and committed to the shared duty of upholding the ancient Jewish value of encouraging rigorous debate within the bounds of mutual respect, solidarity, humility and understanding.
Asepha Kehilatit was initiated and hosted by the educational committee of Habonim Dror Australia and co-sponsored by 11 other community organisations including the Zionist Council of NSW and the Zionist Federation of Australia.
The event was inspired by “Asepha Yisraelit” (Israeli Assembly) – an annual event held throughout Israel and attended by tens of thousands from all sectors of Israeli society.
Established in 2015 by a broad-based coalition including organisations spanning the breadth of Israel’s religious, political and ethnic diversity, Asepha Yisraelit has become the largest annual grassroots democratic event to take place in Israel.
Yael Grunseit, Federal Rosh Chinuch (Head of Education) of Habonim Dror Australia said, “Asepha Kehilatit was a watershed moment for the Zionist youth in Australia. The discussions were stimulating, challenging, productive and inspiring. Youth from different ages and movements shared their views on democracy, Israel and Zionism.
“We discussed what Rabin’s legacy represents to us today. Answers included courage, the possibility of peace and security for Israel, a commitment to dialogue, and the need for youth to remain politically engaged.
“It was a pleasure to participate in a commemoration of Rabin’s life which required all participants to grapple and engage with challenging concepts. I believe the conversations we shared at the asepha will stay with people for a long time.”
Grunseit added that she was “looking forward to watching Asepha Kehilatit grow into a landmark event on the Australian Jewish calendar in the years to come”.