UJIA to launch iEngage think-tank

The Israeli Embassy and UJIA are acting to counter disengagement with Israel by setting up a programme for community leaders with one of the Jewish world’s most respected think-tanks.

Scholars from the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, founded by the late Rabbi David Hartman, who died last month, will hold study sessions with rabbis, lay leaders and professionals with Jewish organisations.

The topics will include how a Jewish state should wield power, why diaspora Jews should care about Israel and what Israel can contribute to the world.

The first UK session of the iEngage programme, as it is called, takes place this month.

Its goal, said Rabbi Doniel Hartman, president of the institute and son of its founder, was “to respond to growing feelings of disenchantment and disinterest toward Israel among an ever-increasing number of Jews worldwide.”

The programme would serve as “a foundation for a new covenant between Israel and world Jewry, elevating the existing discourse from one with a crisis-based focus to one rooted in Jewish values and ideas.”

UJIA chief executive Michael Wegier said that the iEngage programme had “proven its ability to inspire and provide space for reflection and debate, and we are confident it will have this impact in our community”.

Israel ambassador Daniel Taub hoped that “this series of encounters will help deepen and strengthen relations between UK Jewry and Israel, and provide an avenue for exploring new and exciting channels of engagement.”

Last updated: 6:45pm, March 14 2013