Leaders from Milwaukee Jewish Federation joined more than 1,200 Jewish communal leaders in Chicago at Jewish Federations’ three-day General Assembly, where they set the shared Jewish communal agenda for the year ahead and heard from a diverse array of voices on critical issues facing the North American Jewish community, according to a news release.
First held 90 years ago, the General Assembly is seen as the most consequential gathering of the leadership of the North American Jewish community and brings together Jewish leaders of diverse backgrounds to foster productive dialogue and debate.
This year’s GA, held Oct. 30-Nov. 1, focused on responses to the geopolitical challenges and global events impacting the Jewish community, and challenges and opportunities towards building flourishing Jewish communities. Topics that were discussed include the urgency of Jewish communal security, Jewish Federations’ response to the Ukraine crisis and the uncertainties that lie ahead for Jews in Ukraine and Russia, and new initiatives and partnerships to combat the rise in antisemitism.
Global figures, activists, public officials and communal leaders addressed the audience. Noteworthy names include President of Israel Isaac Herzog, U.S. Ambassador to Germany Amy Gutmann, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Herzog, journalist and news anchor Andrea Mitchell, Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Ambassador Dr. Deborah Lipstadt, philosopher and author and filmmaker Bernard Henry Levy, among many others.
Local leaders who represented Milwaukee at the GA included: Tanya Arbit, Women’s Philanthropy chair; Lisa Hiller, Governance chair; Kurt Janavitz, secretary of the Board of Directors; Shimon Levy, COO; Joan Lubar, chair of the Board of Directors; Cheryl Moser, member of the Board of Directors; Mitch Moser, executive director of Jewish Community Foundation; Miryam Rosenzweig, president and CEO; and Julie Schack, chief development officer.
The agenda also included a reception to mark the 60th anniversary of National Young Leadership Cabinet and the 50th anniversary of Lions of Judah, which represent models of leadership for the Jewish world, according to the release.
During the opening plenary of the GA, Jewish Federations of North America Board Chair Julie Platt announced that since the launch of LiveSecure last year, the number of Jewish communities in North America that have security programs has increased by 42%. LiveSecure is a $130 million investment in Jewish communal security that aims to protect every single Jewish community in the U.S. and Canada through a grant issued by Jewish Federations of North America, with matching funds raised by the local Federation.
Also announced at the GA was an agreement made between the leadership of major Jewish organizations and financial ratings powerhouse Morningstar on a new set of commitments regarding anti-Israel bias in its ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) ratings. The agreement follows months of deliberations among the parties.