June 7, 2023
To celebrate 75 years of Israeli independence, AJC Global Forum returns to the Jewish state, for the first time in Tel Aviv. More than 1,500 people from over 60 countries and six continents are attending the premier annual global Jewish advocacy event from June 11-14.
Here are five highlights to look for on the AJC Global Forum stage.
1) Strengthening the Vital Relationship Between the Jewish state and the Diaspora
AJC Global Forum is the venue for leaders from throughout the Jewish world and Israel for tackling today’s most pressing issues.
This year’s AJC Great Debate pits Yehuda Kurtzer, President of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America against Ariel Kahana, Senior Diplomatic Correspondent for Israel Hayom, over the 75-year-old question of whether Jews in the Diaspora should have a voice in Israeli affairs.
In an effort to better understand the Israeli general public, AJC will host five of Israel’s top journalists – Amit Segal, Chief Political Correspondent and Commentator for Channel 12 News, Lahav Harkov, Senior Contributing Editor and Diplomatic Correspondent for The Jerusalem Post, Gideon Levy, Columnist and Member of the Editorial Board for Haaretz, and Gili Cohen, Diplomatic Correspondent for KAN - Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation – for a raucous discussion on all of the hot-button topics in Israeli current affairs.
2) Shaping a Brighter Jewish Future
The AJC Global Forum audience will hear from opinion makers and thought leaders from throughout the Jewish world.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog will join AJC CEO Ted Deutch for a conversation about the state of Israeli affairs as we mark the modern state's 75th birthday.
A pair of high school students from AJC’s Leaders for Tomorrow (LFT) program will interview Yossi Klein Halevi, the bestselling author of Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor, about the next generation of Jewish leadership.
In fact, young Jewish leaders from around the world will play an impactful role at AJC Global Forum. In addition to hosting a delegation of AJC LFT high school students, five Jewish American college students – Charlotte Aaron, Milton Zerman, Hannah Krutiansky from the Jewish Students Association at Berkeley Law and Lily Cohen and Ethan Less from the Northwestern University Hillel – will receive the Sharon Greene Award for Campus Advocacy for encouraging constructive dialogue in the face of antisemitism on their campuses.
Global Forum will also feature a conversation about the intersection of anti-Zionism and antisemitism with Israeli Amb. Shuli Davidovich, Head of the Bureau for World Jewish Affairs and World Religions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
3) Fighting Antisemitism in the U.S. and Abroad
The U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism recently released by the White House included dozens of recommendations from AJC and mirrors AJC’s Call to Action Against Antisemitism, a society-wide guide for America.
Did you know that AJC helped convene antisemitism envoys from around the world at the White House in February to advise on the national strategy? At AJC Global Forum, seven such envoys will share their perspectives on the global fight against antisemitism and receive the inaugural AJC David Harris Award, named for the immediate past AJC CEO, David Harris.
The all-star line-up of envoys charged with combating antisemitism includes among others Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, Katharina von Schnurbein, European Commission Coordinator on Combating Antisemitism and Fostering Jewish Life, Lord John Mann, Independent Advisor to the Government on Antisemitism in the United Kingdom, and AJC’s own Director of International Jewish Affairs Rabbi Andrew Baker, who is also a representative of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
4) Showcasing U.S.-Israel Bonds, Opening Doors To and For the Jewish state
Last year, The Jerusalem Post listed U.S. Ambassador to Israel Thomas R. Nides in its top five of the world’s 50 Most Influential Jews. Though he’s set to leave the Jerusalem embassy later this summer, President Biden’s leading actor in Israel won’t go without giving the AJC Global Forum a look at what makes the U.S.-Israel relationship unique among American alliances.
Meanwhile, Martin Engelberg, Member of Austrian Parliament, Benjamin Haddad, Member of the National Assembly of France, and Esther Lopatin, Director of the Center for European Studies at Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya will discuss how the Abraham Accords, the historic agreement between Israel and three Arab nations brokered by the U.S. opens doors not only for Israel and Arab nations, but for for European countries as well.
In addition, Rabbi David Rosen, AJC Director of International Interreligious Affairs, will lead a conversation about the breakthroughs in interreligious conversations brought about by the historic agreement.
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5) Global Challenges, Global Advocacy, Global Leaders
Prime Minister of Lithuania Ingrida Šimonytė and President of Uruguay Luis Lacalle Pou will join the long list of heads of state who have addressed AJC Global Forum in recent years. The Uruguayan leader, an alumnus of AJC’s Project Interchange, whose country was the first South American nation to recognize Israel’s independence, will discuss important past ties as well as where he sees the relationship going.
A year after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made headlines in a special AJC Global Forum video address from the frontlines, AJC’s long standing support and solidarity for Ukrainians will once again be on display. A special recording of AJC’s People of the Pod will include intimate interviews with two of the thousands of Ukrainian refugees who have been welcomed into the Jewish state.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Sharon Bar-li, Deputy Director General and Head of the Africa Division in Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Rafael Harpaz, Deputy Director General for Asia and the Pacific, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Sanjeev Singla, Ambassador of India to Israel will discuss the nuts, bolts, and future of relations with India and Africa.