As the 2018 recipient of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa’s Freiman Family Young Leadership Award, Aaron Smith also received Lawrence Greenberg Young Leadership Development Award, which allowed him to attend the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly which was held this year in Tel Aviv from October 22 to 24. On his return from Israel, Aaron shared these thoughts and observations.
The theme of this year’s Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) General Assembly (GA) was “we need to talk” with the tagline “We share a heritage. And a future. But that doesn’t mean we’re alike.”
The theme was chosen to spur dialogue between North American Jews and Israeli Jews on the issues the organizers, and many North American Jewish organizations, feel divide us as a people at a time when the North American-Israeli relationship is shifting. Israel at 70 is very different from the Israel that needed global support to establish itself 70 years ago. Israel at 70 is a technology powerhouse that is exporting digital solutions in security, health and other sectors as the ‘Start-up Nation’ to the world. This is a country with very different needs, and therefore the relationship that we have as Jews in the Diaspora with Israel needs to evolve as well. [Read more…]