ב"ה

Chabad on Campus » Chabad on Campus Hosts Israeli Minister Naftali Bennett

Send this page to a friendShare this

Chabad on Campus Hosts Israeli Minister Naftali Bennett

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 - 5:31 pm
Posted by Chabad on Campus

bennett.jpg

Chabad on Campus International hosted Israel’s Minister of Education and Diaspora Affairs, Naftali Bennett, this Monday evening at Chabad House Bowery. An intimate crowd of several dozen students and Jewish campus leaders, gathered to discuss Mosaic United, a new initiative spearheaded by Bennett’s Ministry that brings together the leading campus Jewish organizations to strengthen Jewish Identity and support for Israel among college students around the world. Representing those organizations was Rabbi Yossy Gordon and Rabbi Avi Weinstein of Chabad on Campus International, Eric Fingerhut of Hillel International, Rabbi Avi Cassel of Olami, as well as Amy Holtz, CEO of Mosaic United.

“My mission in life is to strengthen Jewish identity in Israel, and abroad,” Bennett told the crowd. “I feel a sense of urgency—the Government of Israel and the people of Israel are no longer coming here asking for donations—we are doing the opposite. We are using taxpayer money to invest in the future of the Jewish People. The only thing is, we don’t know how. We’re not experts on American Jewry. So we founded a startup, Mosaic United [and] we brought in an amazing CEO. We’ve got the money, we’ve got the leadership, now the question is how to get unaffiliated Jews involved,” he continued.

During his talk, Bennett highlighted how impressed he was by the unity between the various organizations. He then shared a personal anecdote of how his wife was brought closer to Judaism through the outreach of Mr. George Rohr, Chairman of the International Advisory Board of Chabad on Campus International.

“My wife grew up in Israel as secular. I was religious, she was not, and we decided to marry. I wanted to bring her closer to Judaism. When we moved to New York, we saw a flyer for a ‘Beginner's Minyan’. We met a nice guy, probably a teacher, named George, who spoke about the prayers, and the weekly portion, and my wife loved it! We ended up going to the ‘Beginner's Minyan’ for five years—that’s where my wife grew closer to Judaism. Only later did we realize that George was a world renowned philanthropist!”   

After his opening remarks, the Minister opened the floor to questions from the students, listened attentively and engaged in dynamic discussion as the students talked about Jewish life on American campuses, describing both the amazing opportunities and the significant challenges.  

“Having such active student leaders hold a passionate discussion with Minister Bennett about how to further engage Jewish students on campus with Judaism and Israel was truly remarkable, and a clear testament to the importance of the Mosaic United project,” shared Rabbi Avi Weinstein.

A select Israeli Government delegation, which included members for the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, Hagay Elitzur, Rony Zaboroff and Michal Mastey, joined by Director of Campus Engagement for Mosaic United, Jennifer Wilner, started their campus tour earlier in the day at Chabad serving Columbia University, where they shared lunch with Shluchim Rabbi Yona and Keren Blum and students. They continued to Chabad at Queens College and met with Shluchim Rabbi Shaul and Tzipah Wertheimer as well as student board leaders. The meeting in Chabad House Bowery—a center led by Rabbi Dov Yonah and Sarah Korn—was the last stop of the day, attended by Minister Bennett and Director-General Dvir Kahana.

“We are honored to work together with Mosaic United, to strengthen Jewish identity, unity, and love for Israel,” remarked Rabbi Yossy Gordon, Executive Vice President of Chabad on Campus International. “Chabad seeks to ensure that students graduate as stronger and more empowered Jews than when they entered, so it is a natural fit.”


Rabbi Yossy Gordon conveyed the importance of this partnership in his welcoming comments, “there is so much that Chabad on Campus, Hillel and Olami agree on, and the number one shared viewpoint is that we believe you [the students] are the ones who will secure the future of the Jewish people—am Yisrael chai!”

Mosaic United, formerly the Israel-Diaspora initiative, seeks to fuel, scale and connect the most impactful innovators, programs and philanthropists in the Jewish world to help strengthen Jewish identity in the Diaspora. A key focus of their mission is strengthening Jewish identity and unity among Jewish youth on College Campuses, which is the first point at which young Jews can truly carve their beliefs and character with the autonomy of living independently. To this end they have made a significant commitment to Chabad on Campus International, Hillel, and Olami.  

 


Comments on: Chabad on Campus Hosts Israeli Minister Naftali Bennett


There are no comments.


  • Find a local center
  • local
  • support chabad
  • subscribe for updates