In advance of a plan to create a global Jewish advisory council under the Office of the President, Israeli President Isaac Herzog revealed on Sunday night that a consultation process with the world’s Jews had begun.
The President’s Initiative for Worldwide Jewish Dialogue, or Kol Ha’am—Voice of the People—aims to promote open communication among Jewish communities and advise the Israeli president on the central issues confronting the Jewish people.
The advisory board, which will regularly convene, will be tasked with taking practical steps to enhance teamwork initiatives and support upcoming leadership throughout the Jewish community.
Herzog has enlisted the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency for Israel as essential collaborators. The Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Foundation fund the launch operation.
At a ceremony honoring Israel’s 75th Independence Day organized by the Jewish Federations of North America, the Jewish Agency for Israel, the World Zionist Organization, and Keren Hayesod in conjunction with the commencement of the 2023 JFNA General Assembly in Tel Aviv, Herzog presented the projects.
The truth is that there are moments when our Jewish communities and the State of Israel are becoming increasingly estranged from one another. We are more separated from one another.
Our people have been nourished for millennia by a crucial web of connectedness—a feeling of common purpose and destiny.
However, this web appears to be slipping. The internal threat—our divisiveness and isolation from one another—is, in my opinion, the greatest existential danger facing our people.
The goal of Herzog’s Voice of the People program, according to him, is to establish “a first-of-its-kind global council for Jewish dialogue…where we can engage in serious, sensitive, and strategic discussions on the most complex and pressing issues facing our people.” a location where we develop specific recommendations and steps to take to address them. But most significantly, a place where the next wave of Jewish leaders may be raised.
To help him realize his vision, the president has invited the world’s Jewish communities to participate in a thorough consultation process at 14 significant Jewish centers located around six continents.
With the help of the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization, a series of “strategic labs” will be held in Israel, North America (New York, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Toronto), South America (Buenos Aires, So Paolo), Africa (Johannesburg), Europe (London, Paris, Budapest), Australia (Melbourne), and virtual labs in Hebrew and English throughout June and early July.