Daily Israel Report

Turning Passion into Action: Jewish Innovators in S. Africa

First gathering of young South African Jewish innovators; empowering Jews and improving Jewish life.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 2/8/2012, 9:02 PM

Star of David - linking yesterday and today
Star of David - linking yesterday and today
Israel news photo

 

The first South African Jewish Innovators Gathering will be held February 11-12, in Johannesburg. The initiative, in cooperation with the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and South Africa’s Sasfin Bank Limited, seeks to empower young Jews, “enabling them to turn their passion into action.”

The Schusterman Family Foundation is a philanthropic organization that establishes relationships between Jewish leaders from around the globe, The Foundation supports international organizations such as Limmus International and Moishe House, both of which have chapters in South Africa.

The Chairman of the Schusterman Family Foundation, Lynn Schusterman said, “We came to South Africa because it is a vital hub of the global Jewish community, and we are engaging with these young people because they are writing the next chapter of South Africa’s Jewish life.” He continued by saying that in order for “the Jewish community to thrive in the 21st century, we must facilitate stronger connections and relationships between the individuals, organizations and networks that comprise Jewish life. We believe this gathering in an important step toward achieving that goal.”

“At a time when South Africa is emerging as a regional economies powerhouse that continues to gain global visibility as a center of new ideas and energy” the conference aims to “bring together 50 trailblazing entrepreneurs, business pacesetters, activists and thought leaders to create a strategic network that will deepen their impact on their communities, the Jewish world and beyond.”

Guy Lieberman, the conference director stated that the “Gathering’s synergetic mix is a brilliant setting for the social activist to learn from the marketing genius, the serial entrepreneurs from biblical texts, and the green consultant from the banker.”

Seth Cohen, the Director of Network Initiatives at the Schusterman Family Foundation noted, “We are drawing the world’s attention to South Africa, where an inspirational network of young adults is creating a vibrant community on a historic continent rife with challenges and ripe with opportunities… We’re here to empower them and their peers to take risks, to experiment, to use and build on the tools and skills they gain at the gathering and, most important, to know that they are part of a global Jewish network that is changing the constellation and improving the world.”