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Fighting the Delegitimization of Israel

Over 200 Russian-Speaking Young Leaders Trained in New Media Advocacy

By: Joshua Berkman
Published: November 28th, 2012 in News » World
The Jewish Agency for Israel and the Israeli Government trained more than 200 young Russian speaking Jewish leaders to fight the de-legitimization of Israel, during a conference held last weekend in Maastricht, Holland. At the conference, young Jewish leaders from 12 countries across Europe learned public diplomacy skills in the age of new media. The conference was intended to help develop a young Russian speaking Jewish leadership across Europe.

More than 200 Russian speaking young Jewish leaders between the ages of 20 and 30 attended the conference. Many were community leaders, who have been involved in Jewish Agency programs in recent years. The Jewish Agency estimates that hundreds of thousands of Russian speaking are currently living in central Europe and that most Russian speaking Jews are not involved in traditional community organizations or activities. This conference was intended to help these leaders build even stronger personal connections to the Jewish people and the state of Israel. The conference organizers also hoped to unite young Russian speaking Jews, who share a common language and culture, by involving them in Europe wide group activities.

Yuli Edelstein, Israel’s Minister for Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, said “One of the aims of the Conference is to train these young Jews to be the nucleus of a young Jewish leadership in Europe. We also hope to strengthen their connection to the State of Israel and to involve them in the Ministry’s new media efforts to enhance our capability to get our message across in the fight against the de-legitimization of Israel.”

During the conference, the participants developed technical skills for working with online and social media through lectures and practical sessions. The training was conducted in English, German and Russian by leading experts in public diplomacy and new media. The participants left the conference equipped with the knowledge and practical skills to promote Israel’s image in Europe and respond effectively to the extensive anti-Israel activity in the new media.

Natan Sharansky, Chairperson of the Executive of the Jewish Agency said “The attempts to de-legitimize Israel in recent years have underscored the importance of developing young Jewish leaders across the globe and strengthening their connection to Israel.”

Related articles: Israel, Russian, Young Leaders, New Media, Advocacy, Jewish Agency
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