FOUR young Australian Jewish leaders recently returned from participating in the 27th International Nahum Goldmann Fellowship in Israel.
The fellowship aims to nurture the next generation of Jewish communal leadership around the world by providing an intensive experience of Jewish learning, living and leadership.
Zionist Federation of Australia communications and marketing coordinator Hayley Hadassin, JCA head of strategic planning Alain Hasson, ACT Jewish Community Inc’s Rabbi Alon Meltzer, and Central Synagogue manager Leigh Golombick represented Australia at the program, joined by peers from 18 different countries.
Hadassin said it was an “incredibly worthwhile” experience.
“It is rare that we are afforded an opportunity to engage on topics that affect our Jewish identity, our communities and Klal Israel with a diverse group of people that respect and challenge the accepted framework of our ideology,” she said.
“It was done with respect and tolerance and ultimately pushed all our boundaries.”
Hasson added: “Having the opportunity to engage with young and diverse leaders from multiple Jewish communities around the world brings insight and perspective to the strength of the Australian Jewish community.”
Rabbi Meltzer said the fellowship provided him with an insight into “the necessary paths that we, as an entire people, need to take”.
“We have to put aside our differences and ensure that the collective is stronger rather than focusing on singular denominations and ideologies,” he said.
The program culminated with a dinner commemorating the 50th anniversary of program sponsor the Memorial Foundation of Jewish Culture and paying tribute to its retiring founder Dr Jerry Hochbaum.
Executive Council of Australian Jewry president Robert Goot and United Israel Appeal NSW CEO Yair Miller also attended the dinner.