2013 Jerusalem Symposium

asf-symposium-2013-webThe esteemed, prize-winning Israeli writer and thinker, A.B. Yehoshua was the keynote speaker at the third annual Avi Schaefer Fund’s Jerusalem Symposium: The Meaning and Purpose of Israel as a Jewish State. The program took place on February 17, at Yad Ben-Zvi in Jerusalem.

Nearly 300 young adults from the Diaspora who are now studying and volunteering in Israel had the opportunity to focus on a number of critical issues facing the State of Israel.

Speakers included: Rabbi Shai Held, Anat Hoffman, Professor Rachel Elior, Dr. Yoram Hazony and many more. Key sponsors of the program are: Times of Israel, Masa-Israel Journey, The Shalom Harman Institute, Stand with Us, and more.

“The Avi Schaefer Fund aims to provide a more nuanced approach to Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on American college campuses by focusing on understanding of the powerful narratives that have developed as a result of the conflict,” said Yoav Schaefer, co-founder of ASF. “The annual Symposium is an opportunity for those living in Israel with plans to return to college campuses throughout the world, to acquire new knowledge and be empowered when they are back at their university.”

Videos and photos to come. See program below:

3:30 Registration

4:00 Greetings Dr. Elan Ezrachi
       Remembering Avi, Yoav Schaefer

4:15 Keynote Address: What is the Continuation of the Zionist Revolution?
        A.B. Yehoshua, novelist and thinker

5:00 Panel: What makes a State Jewish?
       What should and shouldn’t the Jewish State be?
       Is Israel after 65 years a Jewish State?”

          Moderator:  David Horovitz, founding editor, Times of Israel
          Panel Members: Rabbi Shai Held, Mechon Hadar
          Anat Hoffman, Israel Religious Action Center
          Dr. Yoram Hazony, The Shalem Center
          Prof. Rachel Elior, Hebrew University
          Young Respondents: Yael Patir, Jonah Fischer

6:15 Break and Light Meal

7:00 Breakout Sessions

1) A Values Nation: Rethinking the Meaning of a Jewish Statehood
Sponsored by the Shalom Hartman Institute

Dr. Shraga Bar On, Research Fellow
Avital Hochstein, Research Fellow
Rachel Azaria, Tnuat Yerushalmim
Barak Loozon, San Francisco Federation

2) Religion and State in Israel: Israeli Dilemmas and International Perspectives
Is a mutual accommodation possible, or is it a prescription for disaster?
Jewish pluralism – a virtue or a plague?

Rabbi Uri Regev, Founder and CEO, Hidush
Tehila Nachalon, Chair, Ne’emanei Torah Va’avodah
Rabbi Nachman Rosenberg, Tzohar Rabbis
Moderator: Rabbi, Prof. Arthur Gross-Schaefer, Loyola Marymount University, USA

3) How Israel’s Jewishness is Impacted by the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Prof. Gerald Steinberg, NGO Monitor
Yona Shem-Tov, Encounter
Hillel Ben-Sasson, Molad

4) How Israel Negotiates its Jewish Character with the Non-Jewish Arab Minority?

Mike Prashker and Ali Waked, Merhavim, The Institute for the Advancement
of Shared Citizenship in Israel
Ala Barhum and Nina Barhum, Young Palestinian Entrepreneurs

5) A Jewish State and the Jewish People: A New Look at Israel’s Place Among
Diaspora Jews Toward its 65th Birthday

Jonny Ariel, Makom
Nadav Tamir, Adviser to Shimon Peres
Dr. Barry Rosenberg, St. Louis Federation

6) A Renaissance of Jewish Culture in Israel: Is the Jewish State Fostering
a Vibrant Jewish Culture? What is the Cross-Fertilization with Jewish
Renaissance That is Taking Place in the Diaspora?

Yair Sheleg, Israel Democracy Inst.
Rabbi Dr. Dalia Marks, Hebrew Union College
David Barak Gorodetzky, Hillel-Haifa
Shoshana Cohen, Yeshivat Talpiot
Moderator: Brian Schaefer

8:15 Concluding Open Space Session: Setting the Agenda for the Future
       Facilitator: Brachie Sprung

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