‘Do you want to be a spectator, or do you want to be a part of something important?’
The inaugural JNF UK Fellowship Programme launched on Wednesday, 27 October with an intimate event hosted by the Israeli Ambassador to the UK, Her Excellency Tzipi Hotovely, at her residence in London.
The 11 fellows – a select group of committed individuals who are ready to take their connection to Israel and the JNF to the next level – were excited to begin their leadership journey and wasted no time in asking thought-provoking questions of the Ambassador, and guest speaker Dr Alan Mendoza.
In this first session, titled Living with the Neighbours – Israel and its surrounding countries, Dr Mendoza, Vice Chairman of JNF UK and Executive Director of The Henry Jackson Society, spoke about the impact of social media on perceptions of the day, the relationships between Israel and its neighbours and the lessons that can be taken from this.
Programme Head Rabbi Sam Taylor explains ‘throughout Jewish history, we’ve had some incredible leaders who have been proud to stand up and be counted and now we want to inspire young people to do the same. We want to build a bridge not only to Israel and JNF UK, but also between the fellows and a wide range of influential speakers.’
Her Excellency, Ambassador Hotovely addressed the group, telling the story of her journey into politics and putting forward the question ‘Do you want to be a spectator, or do you want to stand up and be a part of something important?’
‘It is imperative that we support our youth. JNF UK is investing in educating our students to empower them to be ambassadors for Israel. These young, British Jews have clearly shown the active role they want to play in connecting meaningfully with JNF UK, Israel and Zionism,’ said JNF UK Chairman Samuel Hayek.
The JNF Fellowship Programme runs for 15 months boasting a wide array of high calibre speakers and culminates in a trip to Israel and the chance to present what they have learned to their peers at school.