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Winter 2013

Germanys Neue Jews

Securing the Jewish Future for Generations
In the Family Kitchen A Secular-Spiritual Judaism Flourishes in Israels North Germanys Neue Jews We Are Family: Global Jewry Comes Together During Difficult Times Onward Israel: Not Your Big Sisters Internship Manning Israels Digital Image Greek Jews Look to Israel 3 4 6 10 14 18 20
Dear friends, All Jews are responsible for one another. . Last month, we and our partners in the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism released our annual report on anti-Semitic trends around the world. The report noted a disturbing rise of physical danger to Jewish communities in 2012, which included 170 violent incidents and six people killed in anti-Semitic attacks. It is noteworthy that there was no significant impetus for anti-Semitic violence there were no major developments in Israel to which supposed rage could be attributed, and no world events of the kind that traditionally serve as an excuse for anti-Semitic expressions. We at The Jewish Agency are committed to the Jewish value of mutual responsibility and are at the forefront of protecting Jews from attack wherever they may be. In the wake of the March 2012 terror attack against the Jewish school in Toulouse, we established the Fund for Emergency Assistance to Jewish Communities in order to help Jewish institutions around the world enhance their physical safety. Since then, we have allocated more than a million dollars and have helped communities in Europe, South America, and Asia ensure their members security. At the same time, we are fully engaged in the effort to defend Israel from attack in communities and on college campuses around the world. Our 56 Israel Fellows, on 70 campuses in partnership with Hillel, serve as a human link between student bodies and Israel, helping Jewish and proIsrael students triumph in the battle of ideas, encouraging participation in Taglit-Birthright Israel and Masa Israel Journey, and bringing Israel to life in countless other ways. The magazine that you hold in your hands contains a number of stories that further illustrate our commitment to mutual responsibility. Our Partnership2Gether peoplehood platform connects communities in Israel and around the world. It makes possible initiatives like the group trip to Detroit, from which Reut and Yair Hammer returned with a new passion for religious expression that inspired the establishment of independent prayer groups throughout the Central Galilee. Our activities amongst Russian-speaking Jews in Germany help connect them to Israel and to Jewish life, often for the first time. Our commitment to bringing young people on long-term Israel experiences through Masa enables young people like Yoni Mann to make the decision to move to Israel and play a role in its defense. And our group of young volunteers sent to Sandyravaged New York helped Jewish communities rebuild following the storm, expressing our dedication to mutual responsibility in the most concrete of terms. I hope you find these stories as inspiring as we have. Natan Sharansky Chairman of the Executive, The Jewish Agency for Israel

Onward Israel: Not Your Big Sister's Internship

Manning Israels Digital Image

(CSUN), Yoni Mann saw the need for an organized, pro-Israel voice on his campus. So he created one. Thats how University, Northridge in Los Angeles During his junior year at California State
was at Cal-State, inspired his pro-Israel activism. I felt guilty that my cousins were in the army while I went to college, Mann said. So I decided that I would fight for Israel on campus. It defined my college experience. After graduating in 2011, Mann moved to New York but quickly realized that personal and career commitments would delay his resolve to go to Israel. At a meeting with The Jewish Agency, Mann learned about Career Israel, a Masa program that caters to young adults looking to test the waters vis--vis living in Israel. Career Israel would help Mann to secure an internship in public relations, cover the majority of his living expenses, and set up Hebrew language instruction (ulpan) for him. The main benefit is that you get to live in Israel like a local, yet there is direction and support for you, Mann said. If you go to Israel without a program, youre just thrown in. But there was a catch. The Career Israel program Mann was interested in was scheduled to start that very week.

the CSUN Students for Israel was born and how, two short years later, Mann

found himself in the Israeli Ministry room soon after Operation Pillar of Defense began.
Most people spend their whole careers trying to climb onto the world stage but Mann accelerated his path through a five-month Masa Israel Journey experience. Masa is supported by the Government of Israel and The Jewish Agency and offers young Jewish adults a 5-to-12-month resum-building and study-abroad Israel experience. Mann knew for some time that he wanted to go to Israel. His parents are Israeli and his cousins, who served in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) while Mann

of Public Diplomacys digital situation

I packed my apartment and, four days later, I was in Israel, Mann said. Masa arranged two part-time internships for Mann, one with Knesset member Yoel Hasson from Kadima, and another with Finn Partners, a PR firm that was working at the time to promote the prestigious Israeli Presidential Conference. I got to see the inner workings of Israeli politics and work at a huge international conference, Mann shared.

way to leverage his PR skills for Israels diplomatic front. Through a business contact, Mann learned of the Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs digital situation room and jumped at the chance to join their efforts. Mann created a Facebook page for the Ministry called Israel Under Fire. It provided updates about the attacks and generated more than 27,000 Likes in the days and weeks that followed. Its been a whirlwind two years for Mann but, he says, he would not have had it any other way.

These Masa internships helped set the stage for Manns next adventure: making Aliyah and enlisting in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Foreign Relations Unit. Mann finished his military service just as the attacks on Israels south escalated, and began looking for a

In Israel, Im living among my Jewish brothers and sisters, Mann said. Its a place where a Jew can be a Jew and celebrate our heritage as part of mainstream society.

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