Jerusalem Conference in NYC
Jerusalem Conference in NYCShahar Azran

After two decades in which it was held in the capital of Israel, in about a week the Israel National News Jerusalem Conference will be held in Manhattan on June 4, 2023, with the participation of a delegation of ministers, members of the Knesset, leaders of Jewish communities and other opinion leaders, all with the aim of strengthening the relationship with Diaspora Jewry.

Hagit Leviev, CEO of the Leviev Group in the United States and CEO of the Leviev and Or Avner Foundation in the United States, commented: "The conference is a very special event, not something we see a lot in New York: a very large public representation that supports the same goals, with an impressive presence of many distinguished bodies and speakers. We are excited to take part in such a conference."

"We are a national Zionist conference that puts nationalism front and center," explains Dudu Saada, chairman of the 'Besheva' group. Saada commented on "On the other hand, we are not calling for anyone to leave New York. We want to say to the residents of the United States: you live here, we live in the Land of Israel; our goal is to make a connection between brothers. If, for example, we have talented startups in Israel and investors in the United States - We want to connect them. It's the same in every field. We want to get to know each other and connect," he says.

Click here for more information and registration

"Jews overseas hear a lot about the judicial reform led by Knesset Member and Chairman of the Constitution Committee Simcha Rothman, and are not familiar with the details. We are bringing Knesset Member Rothman to the United States together with Jewish-American lawyer Alan Dershowitz to talk openly and directly about the reform," he added. "We are also bringing new immigrants who immigrated to Israel in the last two years with the assistance of the 'Nefesh B'Nefesh' organization to share with those present the stories of their immigration and the absorption process."

After twenty years of the Jerusalem Conference being held in in Israel, the conference in New York is being launched for the second year in a row, with the aim of strengthening the relationship with American Jewry. "We don't just take care of ourselves, but take care of Jews all over the world," says Uzi Baruch, CEO and editor of the Israel National News website. "We put on the agenda of the Jewish community in the United States the issues that connect the Jews in the United States and the Jews in Israel."

Hagit Leviev, CEO of the Leviev Group in the United States and CEO of the Leviev and Or Avner Foundation in the United States, is also expected to take part in the conference. "Our participation in the conference is not from our business side, but from our philanthropic side," she clarifies. "We have very extensive philanthropic activity that I manage here in the United States, founded by my father, Lev Leviev. The activity is designed to protect this generation and prevent assimilation in the future. We invest a lot here in education from a young age, believing that this is what is most important in order to preserve the heritage the Jew abroad".

Click here for more information and registration

According to her, unlike the situation in Israel, abroad it is very easy for Jews to lose their Judaism. Jewish education is very expensive in the United States - $15,000 a year per child at the very least - and parents say: 'We are Jews at home, so they will study in a public school and the values will be absorbed at home and everything will be fine.' It may have worked for the first or second child, but by the next generation it is completely lost," she warns. "When there is no Jewish education, one simply loses the Jewish identity. That is why we established a whole set of schools here that are free and intended for people who cannot afford to pay for private Jewish education, and unfortunately there are many such cases here. We see this as a critical activity for preserving the Jewish heritage of the people of Israel."

"Jews are everywhere in the world, and it is important to preserve them where they are. In Israel it is much easier for them to preserve their heritage, because everyone around them is Jewish. It doesn't matter what school you are in - you know what every holiday is. We also have to take care of the Jews who are In the United States. Those who are here abroad should preserve their Jewish heritage. This is the work we do. At the same time, for all students who graduate hogh schools in our network, we organize a trip to Israel. We also encourage them to go to seminaries in Israel, to be there a year after high school. They organize a trip for them so that they can see what the Land of Israel is, see the holy places. For most of the students, this is their first visit to Israel, so it's really not something that everyone knows and is exposed to, and of course it's very important," she says.

"On a regular basis, we work with many parties from Israel as well. Many times delegations from Israel come and visit our institutions. We give them a tour of all our activities," Leviev notes. For her, the Jerusalem conference in New York is an excellent opportunity to strengthen cooperation with other parties from Israel and the United States. "The conference is a very special event, not something we see a lot in New York. It is a very large public representation that supports identical goals, with an impressive presence of many distinguished bodies and speakers, and we are excited to take part in the conference."

Click here for more information and registration

The conference will be attended by no less than eight Israeli government ministers, who will arrive in a special delegation directly to New York. One of them is Minister of Immigration and Absorption Ofir Sofer. For him, his participation in the conference was intended to remind all Diaspora Jews that Israel is the national home of the Jewish people. "It is clear to us that sometimes the circumstances for immigration are circumstances of war, but even when life is good, people need to be reminded that Israel is home. We as a ministry are going to invest a lot in the immigration of young people, young families, young couples, students and academics. We are building programs for immigrants from France, immigrants from the United States, and also for the young population from the Western countries. We are strengthening the absorption infrastructure, because when the infrastructure is continuous and established, we arrive on the basis of the existing infrastructure."

Sofer points out that a specific program was recently launched for young immigrants to Jerusalem. "This program will increase the absorption programs for the young people. Along with the expansion of the Etzion academy, we are going to establish another youth center. This will service between 1,000 and 1,200 immigrants per year, and the idea is to build a unique pathway where eighty percent of the immigrants choose to stay and live in Jerusalem. It actually makes it easier for them both in language studies and in finding employment and the like."

Click here for more information and registration

"At the end of the day, my job is to encourage and prepare a quality intake for people who want to immigrate to Israel." According to him, there is good news for financially established people who do not suffer from anti-Semitism: "The fact that their children will have a better future in the Land of Israel is also a kind of good news. We focus mainly on the issue of young people. At the same time, we are going to increase the aid to the organization 'Nefesh B'Nefesh' significantly, so that it too can increase the assistance and personal accompaniment for the benefit of the immigrants, and in any case I estimate that the results of the immigration will be better."