Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Meet Gregory Levey,
Author of How to Make Peace in the Middle East in 6 Months or Less Without Leaving Your Apartment
A Program of the Toronto Jewish Book Fair Event and New Israel Fund of Canada
Gregory Levey spoke about his humourous/serious book How to Make Peace in the Middle East in Six Months or Less Without Leaving Your Apartment. With a story teller’s flair, Levey soke at length about his history as a UN delegate for Israel and speechwriter for the Israeli government. After spending years working for Israel and the UN, Levey has been tapped as a commentator on Middle East affairs, and out of frustration, decided to solve the conflict himself. Giving himself six months to complete the task, Levey takes us on a wild, ridiculous ride through the world of Middle East policymaking, and makes us see Israel as it is: full of people who care desperately about its future but cannot figure out how to solve the conflict.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Mothering Under the Lens: Examining the National Budget of Israel with the Adva Center
Ellington’s Music & Café, Toronto
At an intimate meeting in Toronto, Yael Hasson and Valeria Seigelshifer of the Adva Centre discussed their gender-focused analysis of Israel's national budget, showing how the role of women is viewed and how this affects the status of women in Israel. Their research demonstrated the devalued status of mothers in Israel and explored ways in which policies can be changed to promote greater gender equality. Ms. Hasson and Ms. Sigelshifer shared the history of the Adva Centre, a non-partisan Israeli policy analysis center, their achievements and longstanding history as a ressource for policy-makers and other civil society organizations in Israel.
October 6, 2010
Rabbi David Rosenn, COO, New Israel Fund
Loving Israel in Complicated Times
Al Green Theatre, Toronto
Rabbi David Rosenn spoke to a crowd of over 125 people about engaging with Israel in ways that reflect personal values while still remaining supportive and committed to Israel. As the founder and former director of AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps, Rabbi Rosenn spoke about his experience as a social-change leader and the commitments that we make in order to see an Israel that reflects paramount values here in North America: equality and democratic rights for all citizens of Israel. Rabbi Rosenn touched on the dearth of ways for youth to get involved in helping to create and support an Israel that they relate to, and the role that NIF plays in educating students, academics, founders and leaders of non-profit organizations, public defenders and judges in civil rights advocacy.
July 14, 2010
Whose Zionism? A Conversation on Israel, Liberal Values and Jewish Community
The Kiever Synagogue, Toronto
New Generations Canada and Makom partnered to bring Whose Zionism to young people in Toronto’s Jewish community. The event was an opportunity for participants to discuss their thoughts on the intersection between Israel, liberal values and Jewish community, in the inclusive and open setting of the Kiever Synagogue in the heart of Toronto’s developing Jewish downtown core.
With 60 participants, the discussion was dynamic and lively, using Peter Beinart’s ground-breaking article The Failure of the Jewish Establishment as a springboard. The program provided a safe space for young people in their 20s to 40s to engage each other and explore what Israel means to them, what struggles have developed in their relationship to the State, and how they view Jewish community in Toronto and beyond.
May 9, 2010
Naomi Chazan: Achievements and Challenges of Israel's Democracy
Congregation Darchei Noam, Toronto
New Israel Fund president Naomi Chazan spoke in Toronto to an audience of over 250 people at Congregation Darchei Noam, about challenges to Israeli democracy. While a small protest was staged outside by the JDL, Chazan systematically outlined and analyzed the threats to Israel’s democracy and character, as well as the ways in which human rights and freedom of speech is being limited.
Chazan focused on the role of the democratic institutions in Israel and their work to provide equality, justice, tolerance for difference and pluralism. The challenges to these organizations are pernicious trends, and the work to create an Israel based on equality for all must continue. Without it, Israel makes choices that not only undermine the state, but undermine the very citizens it seeks to represent and protect.
“We are at a stage where we are fighting for the soul of Israel…the protection of Israel’s democracy is the key to its future. Everything else is secondary.” Referring to herself as the “Mother of Civil Society in Israel,” Chazan listed gender segregation, racism, and social and economic injustice to Arab citizens as practices that must be fought. Suggesting that heated debate about Israel shows that one cares, Chazan led an engaging Q & A, inspiring a lively dialogue and discussion.
April 25, 2010
New Generations Canada discussion group with Yair Dalal
Israeli world music star Yair Dalal spoke to a group of young professionals, students, activists, artists and musicians about his peace work and music as a means of connection between Jews and Arabs in Israel. Following the NIFC-sponsored collaborative concert with Juno-nominated band Jaffa Road and Yair Dalal earlier in the day, NIFC executive director Jay Brodbar facilitated the discussion between Yair and the New Generations group.
The Aguda: Tragedy and Recovery in Israel's LGBT Community
March 9: Montreal
March 10: Ottawa
March 23: Toronto, The Moose Factory Gallery evening
March 24: Toronto, The First Narayever Congregation
March 25: NIFC New Generations evening with Kulanu Toronto, Miles Nadal JCC & Holy Blossom Generation Aleph
Members of the Aguda, Israel's largest and oldest LGBT organization spoke in Canada, relaying not only the story of the shooting tragedy in their youth facilities last summer, but of the amazing achievements of Israel's LGBT community. Chairperson Mike Hamel, volunteeer counsellor and shooting victim Chen Langer, and volunteer counsellor Chen Katz, whose brother, Nir Katz, lost his life in the tragedy, all spoke about the role that the Aguda plays in counselling, educating and advocating for the rights of the LGBT community, and their vision of the future.
March 1, 2010
NIFC New Generations Event With Yohannes Bayu of the African Refugee Development Center
Scratch Gallery & Espresso Bar, Toronto
Social and spiritual activists as well as concerned young Canadians attended this unique opportunity to meet, discuss and engage Yohannes Bayu about the plight of African asylum seekers in Israel.
February 23, 2010
Yohannes Bayu: The Voice of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel
Temple Emanu-El, Toronto
Mr. Bayu, one of few recognized refugees in Israel, relayed his story as a political refugee from Ethiopia and his arrival in Israel in the mid 1990s. Motivated by his experience, Mr. Bayu founded the African Refugee Developent Center in 2004 and cares for the 20,000 African asylum seekers in Israel. Speaking to the audience at Temple Emanu-El, Mr. Bayu detailed the living conditions of the African community as well as the need for necessary policy change in order to create coherent refugee infrastructure.
February 4, 2010
Professor Yifat Bitton: The Challenges Facing the Sephardic Community in Israel Today
Congregation Adath Israel, Toronto
Professor Bitton illustrated her work as an advocate for communities that face discrimination and her use of tort law as a new tool to fight against segregation. Professor Bitton is founder and current co-chair of the Tmura Center-the Israeli Antidiscrimination Center and is Associate Professor at the School of Management Law in Israel.