Israel Connect European Leadership Network, created a network of young leaders, with the knowledge and tools to promote Israel and Zionism. Many past participants have kept in touch with each other, exchanging ideas and feedback. This project will further the Israel education, skills, and training of Israel Connect European Young Leadership Network alumni, strengthening their knowledge of history and current affairs in the Middle East. It will bring together alumni from all years of the program, and facilitate sharing of ideas and resources, as well as development of a network.
The project aims to create subsidiary Israel Connect European Networks within each country, and to connect each country’s Israel Connect alumni to the local Zionist Federation. There will be regular meetings for alumni within each country, and they will be encouraged to develop and run country-based Zionist educational programs. Alumni from the following countries are expected to participate: Austria; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Denmark; France; Hungary; Israel; Germany; Latvia; Lithuania; Moldova; Norway; Poland; Russia; Serbia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; UK; and Ukraine.
The core of the program is two annual European weekend seminars focusing on networking and education. Two experts from Israel will attend each seminar, as does at least one local speaker. 50% of the educational program is comprised of Jewish Studies and 50% is Israel Studies. There are Divrei Torah during Shabbat meals, and a lesson before Shabbat lunch. Topics include: Torah and Israel; Israel – A Jewish Heritage; Jewish Leaders; The Mitzvah of Giving Your Time; Zionism; The Israel-Arab Conflict; Israeli Politics and Society; Palestinian Politics and Society; Leadership Development; and Challenges Facing European Jewry. There will be a variety of formats for presentation of material, including lectures, panels, debates, and workshops.
The first seminar took place in London in October 2013. The second seminar will take place in Budapest. A minimum of 45 participants are expected to attend each seminar.
The project also includes 9 annual online Virtual Seminars, each extending for 90 minutes. 50% of the instruction during the virtual seminars will be devoted to Jewish Studies, and 50% will focus on topics related to Israel. Each virtual seminar features a different guest speaker. Participants are able to see and hear the speaker and each other, and to ask questions. To date, each of the online seminars have includes 49-53 participants. Each participant in the project is expected to take part in at least 6 virtual seminars each year, and at least one European weekend seminar each year.
A monthly newsletter will facilitate sharing of ideas and resources. A social network space will further promote group interaction.