We Believe ……in Israelism
We believe in Israel. Do you?
(Online registration will close on Friday 13th May at 1.00 pm UK time. Make sure to secure your place at the sessions you want to attend by booking your conference place today.
To apply for a press pass, please contact Helen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Only individuals associated with recognised news outlets will be considered.)
On Sunday 15th May, join us and 1,000 others to support one vital concept – Israel, a democratic and Jewish state.
Working through the rhetoric and misconceptions, find out how you can make a difference. Whether you are a novice or seasoned campaigner, Jew or non-Jew; politically active or not, this conference is for you.
The conference will unite behind Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, and help you find your voice to engage with and support Israel in Britain.
We are delighted that Makōm is part of the conference. Makōm is an Israel Engagement initiative supported by the Jewish Agency that embraces the vibrant complexity of Israel and the Jewish People. Makōm develops content and empowers Jewish activists, educators, rabbis, arts and community leaders around the world to develop deep, innovative and honest programming. Makōm works with anyone eager to hug and wrestle with Israel and the Jewish People.
You will be re-energised in your conviction, enriched in your understanding and confident in engaging with the issues. From inspirational to deeply practical sessions, with world leaders to expert educators, the best of the best will be coming together for one reason – you!
If you believe in Israel, we’ll see you on Sunday 15th May.
AT THE CONFERENCE YOU WILL:
Hear from leading speakers from Israel and the UK: household names, leading politicians, and journalists
Discuss how we can work with different faiths, political parties, trade unions and other groups in society Choose from over 30 sessions on theory and practice
Develop your personal knowledge and skills, from writing letters to lobbying Parliament and everything in between.
Find out what people in Britain really think about Israel understand who the anti-Israel lobby is in Britain
Discover what you can do to be more engaged and effective
Sunday 15th May 2011 from 9.30am – 5.30pm
The conference will be in a top-quality hotel in central London (Zone 1)
Limited parking will be available
Just £20 per person. Special bulk discount: book six seats and pay only for five
Just £10 for students (valid student ID to be displayed upon entry)
Kosher lunch, tea and coffee included in the booking price
If you have any queries, please phone 020 8387 4135 or email email@example.com
Opening the conference will be:
Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP, Secretary of State for Defence
His Excellency Ambassador Ron Prosor
Ambassador Matthew Gould
Session Chair: Vivian Wineman
Closing the conference will be:
Gideon Sa’ar MK, Minister for Education
Col Richard Kemp CBE
Session Chair: Mick Davis
Following is the list of confirmed speakers at the conference. Additional names may be added as the conference draws closer:
Adam Cannon is the Deputy of Editorial Legal, Telegraph Media Group and will become head in a few months when the current incumbent retires. Previously, Adam was Group Legal Advisor at Associated Newspapers (Daily Mail, Evening Standard, Metro) for almost 12 years, having first qualified as a Barrister and practicing for about five years before moving in-house. He studied law at Magdalene College Cambridge. While there, was elected President of the Cambridge Union.
Adam provides 24 hour a day, 7 day a week pre and post-publication support to the editor and journalists. He advises on all aspects of media law.
Adam is also an Executive Board member of BICOM and provides informal advice to a number of political organisations on media-related matters.
Adam Mader is an Israeli musician renowned for stunning audiences throughout the world with his effervescent stage presence and mastery of a myriad of instruments. He has played with Israel’s top theatres – HaBima, Cameri, Haifa – and with Israel’s greatest pop stars – Kobi Oz, Ehud Banai, Meir Ariel, Eti Ankri, Danny Sanderson – to name but a few.
Adrian Cohen is a founding member and currently chairman of the London Jewish Forum.
Professor Alan Johnson
Alan Johnson is a Professor of Democratic Theory and Practice at Edge Hill University in Lancashire, England. He was the Founder and Editor of Democratiya, a free online journal of international politics that has now merged with Dissent. He is a scholar of the labour movement in Iraq, and is a founding member of Labour Friends of Iraq. He is also co-author of the Euston Manifesto.
Dr Alan Mendoza
Dr Alan Mendoza is a Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Henry Jackson Society, Director of the Israel-Diaspora Trust and a Director of the Friends of Israel Initiative (UK). Having obtained a B.A. (Hons.) and M.Phil in history at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, Alan completed a Ph.D. at the same institution, focusing on Anglo-American relations during the Bosnian War, 1992-1995, and he has particular research interests in the transatlantic relationship, the Middle East and Russia. He represents the Henry Jackson Society on various topics in the media and has appeared on the BBC, ITN, Sky, CNBC, Bloomberg and al-Jazeera networks amongst others. Alan is also Chief Advisor to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Transatlantic & International Security and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Homeland Security, a Board Member of the British-American Project, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Electric Infrastructure Security Council and of Just Journalism.
Alex Dwek is Chair of the Union of Jewish Students (UJS).
Alon Roth Snir
Alon Roth Snir is the Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Israel in the UK; he was previously Deputy Ambassador at the Israeli embassy in Jordan.
Amos Harel is one of Israel’s leading media experts on military and defence issues. He has been the military correspondent and defence analyst for Haaretz for the last 12 years. In this role, he has written extensively about Israel’s ongoing fight against terrorist organisations, its battles during the Palestinian Intifada (uprising) and the last war in Lebanon. Prior to his current position, Harel, 41, spent four years as night editor for the Haaretz Hebrew print edition, and from 1999-2005 was the anchorman on a weekly Army Radio programme about defence issues. He also frequently appears in the Israeli and foreign media as a military pundit.
Andrew Gilbert is a member of the UJIA. He is a Founding Chair of Limmud International.
Arieh Kovler is Head of Policy and Research for the Jewish Leadership Council. He also runs the anti-boycott Fair Play Campaign Group. Arieh previously worked in Jewish education.
Rt Hon Bill Rammell
Bill Rammell studied French at Cardiff University, was President of the Students’ Union there, and then variously worked as a Regional Officer for the National Union of Students, General Manager of Kings College London Students’ Union and General Manager of the University of London Union in the 1980s and 1990s. Bill was elected as the Labour MP for Harlow in 1997 until 2010 and during that time served in Government as Minister of State for Further and Higher Education, Minister of State for the Middle East at the Foreign Office, and Minister of State for the Armed Forces. Bill recently took up a position as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience and Internationalisation) at the University of Plymouth.
Brian Coleman AM
Brian Coleman is a Conservative Party politician and member of the London Assembly for Barnet and Camden, England. He is a Councillor in the London Borough of Barnet, and was Mayor for 2009-2010.
Carly McKenzie is the Campaigns Director at the Union of Jewish Students.
Chas is a blogger, author and radio pundit on BBC London. As a non-Jewish supporter of Israel he has visited the country several times. He runs the OyVaGoy blog, writes columns for the Jewish Chronicle and is on the advisory boards of Honest Reporting and StandWithUs UK.
Craig Leviton is an Executive Board Member of BICOM. He is the founder and managing director of Heathcroft Communications.
Dan Grabiner has been elected as the new President of the Union of Jewish Students.
Daniel Needlestone is a professional educator and Jewish communal professional specialising in online learning and communication. In a lay capacity he spends much time dealing with Israel related issues as Israel and the Diaspora Officer for Liberal Judaism, Co-Chair of Pro-Zion and Chair of the Jewish Teachers’ Association. Daniel is also an elected member of the Zionist General Council of the World Zionist Organisation.
Professor David Cesarani
Professor David Cesarani is an English historian specialising in Jewish history. He is a research professor in history at Royal Holloway, University of London. He advised the Home Office unit responsible for Holocaust Memorial Day and was a member of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office delegation to the Intergovernmental Taskforce for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research.
David Menton is an Executive Board Member of BICOM.
Debbie Coulter OBE
Debbie Coulter is Deputy General Secretary of the GMB Trade Union.
DJ Collins is Vice President of Communications and Public Policy – Europe, Middle East and Africa for Google UK. He is also an Executive Board Member of BICOM.
DJ Schneeweiss is a Diplomat in Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has served as Policy Assistant to Foreign Ministers Ehud Barak (1995-1996) and David Levy (1996-1998). DJ also served as Press Secretary at Israel’s Embassy in London from 1998-2002, during which time he was recognised by Diplomat magazine as the most effective Embassy spokesman in London. From 2003–2006, DJ served as Policy Advisor to Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and from 2006-2009 as Israel’s Deputy Ambassador to China. DJ is currently responsible for coordinating MFA strategy and action to counter boycott initiatives.
Doreen Gerson is Director of the Israel Information Centre (IIC).
Doug Krikler is the Chief Executive of UJIA. He also holds a number of positions in a lay capacity within various communal bodies, including Co-Chair of the new UK Task Force on Arab Citizens of Israel.
Dr Emanuele Ottolenghi
Dr Emanuele Ottolenghi is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defence of Democracies. Dr Ottolenghi previously headed the Transatlantic Institute in Brussels, where he resides, and taught Israel Studies at St Antony’s College, Oxford University. Among Dr Ottolenghi’s main focuses is the Iran nuclear issue.
Among his recent works on the subject are the 2010 book, Iran: The Looming Crisis – Can the West Live with Iran’s Nuclear Threat? This updated his 2009 work, Under a Mushroom Cloud: Europe, Iran and the Bomb. He is a prolific writer, with a column in Standpoint Magazine, and blogs on Contentions, the Blog of Commentary Magazine.
Eric represents TULIP (Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine). He is one of the world’s leading experts on trade unions and the internet. His 1996 book, The Labour Movement and the Internet, published by Pluto Press, was the first in its field. The website he founded in 1998, LabourStart, remains the leading international trade union website.
Esti Moskovitz-Kalman, Deputy Director and Director of Education, Makom
Esti served in the Israeli Defense forces as an officer and commander, the first woman to attend the Combat Officer Training Course (until then only open to men). Following her four year army service, Esti attended Bar Ilan University, majoring both in Judaism, and in Psychology & Sociology, and completed graduate studies in Organization Behavior at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Esti served as the Director of theJerusalem region of Melitz, and was a Melitz Scholar a Jewish educator at the JCC of Greater Baltimore and later a Senior Educational Consultant with the Bureau for Jewish Education in Baltimore. Esti joined the JAFI Education Department in 2002 and joined the founding team of NACIE/Makōm as the Educational Director. During 2008-2009 Esi spend the year at Mandel Institute as Jerusalem Fellow, where she researched and designed a model for training Israel Engaged leaders. Upon completing the program she returned to Makōm taking on the current position.
Gavin Stollar is Chair of Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel (LDFI).
Henry Grunwald QC
Henry Grunwald QC is the Former President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. He became a criminal barrister in 1972 and a QC in 1999.
Jamie Slavin is Public Affairs Officer at the Board of Deputies of British Jews. He was formerly Mazkir (National Director) of FZY.
Dr Jane Clements
Dr Jane Clements is an Anglican and the Founder and Director of the Forum for Discussion of Israel and Palestine (FODIP), which facilitates conversations between faith communities in the UK on this issue. Prior to that, she was Director of Programmes at the Council of Christians and Jews. Dr Clements is a Trustee of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, and is a member of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.
Jennifer Gerber is the Director of Labour Friends of Israel (LFI). She is a former Director of Progress, the Labour reformists’ think-tank. Previously, she was Special Advisor to Andy Burnham at HM Treasury, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department of Health.
Jeremy Newmark is the Chief Executive of the Jewish Leadership Council. He was an advisor to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the growth of antisemitism and advised the previous government on its engagement with faith communities. He has represented the UK Jewish community within major international bodies, including the United Nations.
Jerry Lewis is the Political Editor of the Jewish Telegraph.
Jon Benjamin is the Chief Executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
Jonathan Boyd is the Executive Director of JPR, the Institute for Jewish Policy Research in London, an independent Jewish research centre and think-tank concerned with a range of contemporary Jewish issues in Britain, Europe, and throughout the world. A specialist in contemporary Jewry, he holds a BA and MA in Modern Jewish History from University College London, and his doctoral research at the University of Nottingham is in the field of educational philosophy. He was formerly a Jerusalem Fellow at the Mandel Institute in Israel, and has held professional positions in research and policy at the JDC International Centre for Community Development in London and Paris, the Jewish Agency for Israel in London and New York, and the UK-based United Jewish Israel Appeal and Holocaust Educational Trust. His writings have been published in various newspapers, publications and journals, and he is the editor of The Sovereign and the Situated Self: Jewish Identity and Community in the 21st Century (Profile Books, 2003). His most recent research reports have examined the attitudes of Jews in Britain towards Israel (co-authored with David Graham), and child poverty and deprivation in the British Jewish community
Jonathan is the Director of BICOM’s Israel Office. A Chevening Scholar, he is completing his PhD at the LSE on Israeli public diplomacy. He worked previously at the Portland Trust, and the Jaffee Centre for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University.
Jonathan Freedland is an award-winning journalist, author and broadcaster. He writes a weekly column for the Guardian and is the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s contemporary history series, the Long View. He also writes a monthly piece for the Jewish Chronicle and is a regular contributor to a range of US publications, including the New York Times, the New York Review of Books and the New Republic. In 2008, he was awarded the David Watt Prize for Journalism, having been named ‘Columnist of the Year’ in the What the Papers Say awards for 2002, where the judges praised him for his “incisive, original, strong and very outspoken views”.
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg is a Masorti rabbi, the Senior Rabbi of The Assembly of Masorti Synagogues UK. He is a leading writer and thinker on Judaism. He is Rabbi of the New North London Synagogue, with approximately 2400 members.
Joy Wolfe MBE
Joy Wolfe MBE is Co-President of the Zionist Federation and UK Chairperson of Stand With Us.
Lee Scott MP
Lee Scott is a MP for Ilford North and an officer for the Conservative Friends of Israel.
Louise Ellman MP
Louise Ellman is a Labour and Co-operative MP. She is Chair of the Jewish Labour Movement.
Luke Akehurst blogs at www.lukeakehurst.blogspot.com and writes weekly online columns for www.labourlist.org and www.progressonline.org.uk. He also tweets as @lukeakehurst. His blog is ranked by Total Politics as one of the Top 50 UK political blogs and as the no. 1 blog by a councillor. He is a member of the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee, has been a councillor in Hackney since 2002, and was a parliamentary candidate in the 2001 and 2005 general elections. He works as a Director at Weber Shandwick Public Affairs.
Baroness Margaret McDonagh
Baroness Margaret McDonagh is a British Labour Party politician and was General Secretary of the Labour Party from 1998 to 2001.
Martin Bright is the Political Editor at the Jewish Chronicle. He was formerly Political Editor of the New Statesman.
Matthew Doyle is Political Director of the Office of Tony Blair. He has worked with Tony Blair since 1999.
Ambassador Matthew Gould
Matthew Gould is the British Ambassador to Israel. He began working for the Foreign Office in 1993. Formerly a speech writer for Robin Cook, he served as Principal Private Secretary to David Miliband when he was Foreign Secretary and has held positions in NATO, Manila and Washington. He was also posted in Tehran for a period, serving as the Deputy Head of Mission.
Michele Vogel is President of WIZO UK.
Mick Davis is Chairman of UJIA. He is also a member of the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC).
Lord Monroe Palmer
Lord Palmer is Vice President of Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel (LDFI). He is also a Liberal Democrat councillor.
Natan Sharansky is a former Soviet dissident, Israeli politician, human rights activist and author. He is currently Chairman of the Jewish Agency. He has held several ministerial posts, including Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Internal Affairs and Minister of Trade and Industry.
Nick Boles MP
Nick Boles is a Conservative MP for Grantham and Stamford. He was previously a Westminster City Councillor and the Director of Policy Exchange, a think-tank based in Westminster.
Poju Zabludowicz is Chairman of BICOM.
Rami Wernik, North American Director of MAKOM
Rami Wernik, North American Director of MAKOM, was born in New York and raised in Jerusalem. He received two B.A. degrees, in General Philosophy and Jewish Studies, from The Hebrew University and The Jewish Theological Seminary. He holds an Ed.M. from Harvard University as well as an M.A. in Religious Studies from Stanford University. Rami is writing his doctoral dissertation on civic education in Israel for the school of education at Stanford. A former recipient of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship in Jewish Education, he also completed the Mandel Jerusalem Fellows Program in 2003. Rami has worked extensively in the field of Jewish education, serving as faculty member in various frameworks including: Midreshet Har Herzl, Melitz, the New Israel Fund’s Rabin Seminar, and the Brandeis Collegiate Institute (BCI). He has served as assistant dean and then as dean of the Fingerhut School of Education at American Jewish University in Los Angeles.
Richard Angell is the Deputy Director of Progress, Campaigns Officer of LGBT Labour, Political Education Officer of Vauxhall CLP and Secretary of the Stockwell branch of the Labour Party. He is also the former National Chair of Young Labour. Richard was the General Election Coordinator in Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, and has run selection campaigns for a number of people who are now MPs. He speaks regularly to local CLPs and Labour groups about the future of the Labour Party.
Colonel Richard Kemp
Colonel Richard Kemp served in the British Army from 1977 to 2006. After retiring from the Army, Kemp turned to writing. His first book, Attack State Red, is an account of the 2007 campaign undertaken by the Royal Anglian Regiment, documenting their initial deployment and trials in Afghanistan. Attack State Red was listed as a bestseller in the Sunday Times, two weeks after its initial release.
Rick Nye is the Director of Populus. He is responsible for Populus’s political research work, including polling for the Times, and is a regular commentator on public attitudes in the media and elsewhere. Rick specialises in designing and delivering research programmes, evaluating and advising on corporate reputation, issues management and strategic communication. With more than a decade’s worth of experience in formulating, presenting and researching into corporate strategy and public policy, he leads Populus’s work for clients such as BSkyB, the Premier League, the BBC and Nestlé.
Rick co-founded the Social Market Foundation and as its Director built it into Britain’s pre-eminent cross party think tank, promoting many of the health, welfare and education reforms currently being debated today. He went on to serve as the Director of the Conservative Research Department where he ran the Party’s polling and advertising campaigns and acted as speechwriter and advisor to successive Tory leaders.
Robbie Gringras, Artist in Residence Makom
Robbie is a British-born Israeli living in the Galilee, working in professional theatre and as Artist-in-Residence for the Makōm Israel engagement network in the Jewish Agency for Israel. With Makōm he works with Israeli artists and with North American Jewish arts presenters and educators on weaving honest complex connections to Israeli music, movies, and writing. In the theatre he has performed on London’s West End and throughout the world with his own original plays. Since emigrating to Israel he has taught at theatre schools throughout Israel, directed several plays, and his solo shows have performed throughout Israel, UK, Australia, USA, Canada, and Mexico in English, Hebrew, and Spanish.
Ambassador Dr Robbie Sabel
Ambassador Sabel is a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Law and Department of International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is a frequent political commentator in the Israeli press and television. He was educated at Carmel College, England, the Hebrew Gymnasia Rehavia, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
He was formerly a Counselor for Political Affairs at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, the Legal Advisor to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Foreign Ministry’s Deputy Director General for Arms Control and Disarmament, the Head of the Israeli Delegation at the Taba arbitration with Egypt, and a member of the delegation at peace talks with Egypt and Jordan and Palestinians. He has also been an arbitrator on the Appeals Panel of the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (The “Eagleburger Commission.)
His publications include Procedure in International Conferences (Cambridge University Press, 2nd edition 2006), and International Law, with others (Faculty of Law, The Hebrew University Jerusalem, 2nd edition 2010).
Roger Lyons is Chair of TUFI. He is a former President of the TUC.
Ambassador to the Court of St James’s Ron Prosor
His Excellency Ron Prosor has been the Ambassador of Israel to the Court of St James’s since November 2007. With over two decades of experience at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Prosor has carved out an international reputation as one of Israel’s most distinguished diplomats.
Prior to his mission to London, between 2004 and 2007 he served as the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, overseeing the work of the Foreign Ministry during the disengagement from Gaza in 2005.
Ronnie Fraser is the Founder and Chair of the Academic Friends of Israel.
Scott Copeland, Director of Israel Travel Education Makom
Scott holds a B.A. from Brandeis University in Near Eastern & Judaic Studies, and an M.A. fromHebrew University’s Institute of Contemporary Jewry. Scott has worked as a teacher, tour guide, and educator in a wide variety of Israeli and Diaspora settings. He was the Education Director at Hadassah’s Mt Scopus Youth Center, and directed the Archaeological Seminars Tour Guide Course under the supervision of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism. He has taught in Jewish communities around the world and has been deeply involved in educational tourism not only in Israel, but also in places like Poland and Jordan. His areas of expertise include Israel studies, Jewish history and thought, issues of history and memory, and travel as an informal educational arena. Until the summer of 2002, Scott was a Fellow at the Mandel Jerusalem Fellows, a prestigious leadership development center for the Jewish educational world. As of August 2002, Scott was invited to join the faculty of the Mandel Leadership Institute, and served as its Dean of Fellows. In his military reserve duty, Scott is an officer with the IDF Spokesperson’s Bureau.
Simon Buckby is the Director of Champollion. Simon had been the Social Affairs and Employment Correspondent of the Financial Times, a Political Reporter for the BBC and a Producer at LWT. For four years he was Chief Executive of Britain in Europe, a business-led coalition launched in 1999 by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and supported by prominent Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. Simon has also had senior roles in the Labour Party: he managed Labour’s advertising campaign for the 1997 general election and was as an advisor to John Prescott MP.
Stephen Pollard is Editor of the Jewish Chronicle. He is a former Chairman of the European Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and a former President of the Centre for the New Europe, a free-market think tank based in Brussels. He has written columns for several publications, including the Times and the Daily Mail.
Stephen Scott is the Director of Trade Union Friends of Israel (TUFI).
Steven Jaffe is the Co-Chair of the Northern Ireland Friends of Israel.
Stuart Polak is the Director of Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI).
Dr Tal Becker
Dr Tal Becker is an International Associate of the Washington Institute. He has served as Senior Policy Advisor to Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2009 and was a lead negotiator during Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that took place under the auspices of the Annapolis peace process. In this capacity, he also played a central role in managing Israel’s relations with the United States, EU, UN and various Arab states. Representing Israel in a wide variety of bilateral and multilateral negotiations, he has also served as Director of the International Law Department at the Israeli Foreign Ministry, as Counsel to Israel’s UN Mission in New York, and as an International Law Expert in the Military Advocate General Assembly’s Legal Committee, the first Israeli to serve in a UN post of this stature in more than forty years.
Toby Greene is Head of Research & Analysis at BICOM. Prior to joining BICOM, Toby worked at GCS, an international team of political consultants providing opinion research as well as campaigns and communications consultancy to heads of state and governing parties in Europe. Before moving to Israel he was Head of Policy & Research for Labour Friends of Israel. Toby is completing his PhD at UCL on British policy in the Israeli-Palestinian arena.
Trevor Kavanagh is Associate Editor and formerly the Political Editor of the Sun newspaper.
Vivian Wineman is the President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. He is also Chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council and Vice President of the European Jewish Congress.
Wes Streeting is Chief Executive of the Helena Kennedy Foundation, an educational charity that promotes access to higher education to students from further education colleges through bursaries, mentoring and work placements. He is also a Labour Councillor in the London Borough of Redbridge and is a former National President of the National Union of Students (NUS) in the UK.
Yonatan Ariel, Executive Director Makom
Yonatan lectures widely in his fields of interest: Contemporary Jewry, Educational Policy-Making and Experiential Education, and is an adjunct faculty member of the Melton Centre for Jewish Education at the Hebrew University. He has taught in public school, adult education and in educational travel settings. Yonatan studied history and education at universities, and is a graduate of the Institute for Youth Leaders, and of the Jerusalem Fellows. He has served in senior policy-making positions at the Mandel Leadership Institute, the United Jewish Israel Appeal, and Melitz. YA serves on the boards of Limmud International, Hazon and the Minyan Kehilati in Har Adar, where he lives with his wife Naomi and their three children.
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We Believe in Israel will feature sessions with top-level political speakers from both Britain and Israel, and a series of workshops where delegates can choose to learn from experts about campaigning and communicating, suited to their level of involvement in advocacy for Israel. Delegates will also learn the latest facts and arguments about the situation in Israel and the wider Middle East. A major focus will be on helping delegates to understand the views of the British public and political stakeholders on Israel, and how best to communicate with each specific audience.
In addition to the skills and briefing sessions, Makōm – an Israel engagement initiative of the Jewish Agency – will be running a unique track entitled “Am Chofshi B’Artzenu”(A Free People in Our Land) as an integral part of the conference. Aimed at developing an educationally focused model of advocacy, this track will be of particular interest to those participants who want to experience an in-depth engagement with the three core values underpinning our advocacy for Israel, namely Freedom; The Jewish People; and the significance of the Land of Israel.
We will explore and discuss these values in the context of both Jewish thought and 21st century politics. This track will incorporate interactive study sessions, workshops and performances, providing an innovative, dynamic and inspirational approach to our support for Israel in the public domain.
On Sunday 15th May, over 1,000 supporters and friends of Israel, from all over the UK, will be gathering in central London for our conference called We Believe in Israel.
For what purpose? We Believe in Israel will be the one of the largest-ever conferences in support of Israel in the UK. We want to confirm and assert the importance of Israel to Britain. We want to move British policy back towards a closer relationship with Israel. And we want to turn back the negative tide which is aiming to undermine the legitimacy of Israel.
In short, we want to energise grassroots advocacy for Israel on a scale never before seen in Britain.
How can we do this? At We Believe in Israel we will be:
Hearing from leading speakers from Israel and the UK – all household names, including leading politicians and journalists
Discussing how we can work with different faiths, political parties, trade unions and others
Running over 30 sessions on how to campaign, lobby and communicate with varying interest groups. Finding out what British people really think, and understanding just who the anti-Israel lobby is in Britain
Discovering what you can do to help, and building the biggest database of people who support Israel.
The conference is being led and coordinated by BICOM and supported by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Jewish Leadership Council, the Zionist Federation, the Union of Jewish Students, as well as the leading Jewish media outlet, the Jewish Chronicle.
In addition, the United Synagogue, Assembly of Masorti Synagogues, the Movement for Reform Judaism and Liberal Judaism are lending their support and every day we are adding organisations who are coming on board, including the Academic Friends of Israel and the Friends of Israel Education Trust. This unique event is also supported by the Israeli Embassy.