Malcolm Hoenlein at the Jerusalem Conference in New York City
Malcolm Hoenlein at the Jerusalem Conference in New York CityHaim Tuito

The third annual Arutz Sheva Jerusalem Conference in New York City will be held this year on June 2nd, 2024, following the Celebrate Israel Parade in the city. In light of the October 7th massacre and the resultant Swords of Iron War, this year’s conference will focus on recognizing the many people who rushed to Israel’s defense on a variety of fronts.

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The conference will begin with a ceremony for writing letters in a Sefer Torah and a prayer for Israel and the IDF, and remarks by Yaakov Katz, Chairman of the Board of Directors in the Arutz Sheva and Besheva group, and Dudu Sa'ada, Chairman of the Besheva Group.

Several senior Israeli officials will deliver seminars and interviews throughout the conference, including Amichai Chikli, Minister of Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemitism, Gilad Erdan, Israel's ambassador to the UN, Moshe Lion, Mayor of Jerusalem, and Ofir Akunis, Israeli Consul-General in the USA.

Both Republican and Democratic officials will be present. The conference will include a tribute to the late Senator Joe Lieberman and a special interview with David Friedman, former US Ambassador to Israel.

The importance of immigration to Israel, especially during such a troubled time, will be discussed with professionals from both Israel and abroad, including Ofir Sofer, Minister of Aliyah and Integration, Eric Michaelson, Director of Aliyah, and Avichai Kahana, Director General of the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration. Rabbi Yehoshua Fass and Tony Gelbart, the co-founders of the Aliyah organization Nefesh B’Nefesh, will speak as well, and a special TED-style talks will be held with soon-to-be immigrants Dr. Chava Blivaiss, Yossi Berger, and Emma Limor Finn.

Israel's security forces' actions, heroism, and sacrifice throughout the war will be presented by Elon Hoffman, brother of fallen Maj. Yitzhar Hoffman HY’D, Brigadier General Amir Avivi (res.), founder and chairman of the Israel Defense and Security Forum, and Davidi Ben-Zion, Deputy Governor of Samaria and a major (res.) in the Paratroopers Brigade.

Hamas's invasion devastated civilian lives as well, and the conference will hear about the impacts of the war on civilians from Dani Miran, father of Omri, who was abducted by Hamas from Kibbutz Nahal Oz, and Alon Davidi, Mayor of Sderot, one of the cities most targeted by Hamas both in the current war and for many years prior.

As the internet has become a battlefield for the public opinion of Israel, the conference will honor those who defended Israel online, with speeches, interviews, and panel discussions by Mark Langfan, Chairman of Americans for a Safe Israel, Victoria Zirkiev, CEO of the Hoshen Media Group, and online celebrities and Israel advocacy figures Emily Austin, Ami Kozak, Tanya Zuckerbrot.

Representatives from some of the most prominent Jewish organizations in the world will speak, including Rabbi Moshe Hauer, Executive Vice President of the OU, Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman, President of Yeshiva University, Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice Chairman Emeritus of the Conference of Presidents of Jewish Organizations, Yehuda Setton, COO of The Jewish Agency for Israel, and Yaakov Hagoel, Chairperson of the World Zionist Organization.

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To emphasize the importance of the Diaspora to Israel, a significant part of the program will focus on Israel’s national service program and the volunteer work that Israelis do for communities overseas. Reuven Pinsky, Director General of the National Civil Service Authority, will personally address the topic, as well as Yaron Lutz, CEO of the Israeli Volunteer Association, and Arit Ansbacher Landsman. The conference will also hear the personal testimonies of and anecdotes of some Bnot Sherut - Israeli women who chose to volunteer overseas as part of their national service.

Several unique views on the war will be delivered from notable figures in the business community, including Chagit Leviev, CEO of the Leviev Foundation, Attorney Betty Metzer Levi, representing the Israeli General Federation of Labor, and Simon Newton-Smith, SVP of the Americas at El Al Airlines.

Although the war has been primarily in Israel’s south and north, the conference will not forget the importance of Judea and Samaria, and hear stories directly from the Binyamin region’s battlefields with Israel Ganz, Binyamin Region Governor and Yesha Council Chairman, Ruthie Lieberman, Governor Ganz's political advisor, Eliana Passentin, director of the Binyamin Regional Council’s international desk, and Maj. (res.) Aaron Katsof, founder and director of The Binyamin Fund.

The host, New York City itself, will be represented as well, with Eric Adams, Mayor of New York City, and Richie Taylor, Deputy Chief of the NYPD, giving special interviews.

As part of the conference, the Jerusalem Prize will be bestowed on several recipients, including Mayor Eric Adams, the late Yitzhar Hoffman HY’D, the Israel Defense and Security Forum, Nefesh B’Nefesh, the National Civil Service Authority, and AFJS - American Friends of Judea and Samaria.

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