The only way is Essex for star of young leaders conference

At global event attended by 1,300 delegates, Olami elects Sacha Johnstone to promote leadership among students


An Essex 24-year-old was a star of the summit meeting in Birmingham organised by Olami, a global forum for young Jews.

The event attracted 1,300 delegates from across the world and speakers including Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett and former Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks.

Sacha Johnstone from Clayhall was chosen as one of 12 regional ambassadors and will promote Jewish leadership to students throughout Europe. He will also be involved in a high-profile leadership programme in Israel involving top politicians and entrepreneurs.

In his pitch, titled “How I came out of the closet as a Jew”, the Aish Essex representative said he wanted to encourage contemporaries to embrace their Judaism.

Close-on 100 Olami delegates were from Aish UK, Aish Essex and the Jewish Learning Exchange.

Also during the summit, $10,000 innovation grants were awarded to creative projects, such as one from Argentina which will see a kosher food truck visit universities attended by Jewish students.

Another highlight was the launch of Yizkereim, intended to honour the memory of Israel’s fallen soldiers through acts of kindness and meaningful engagement with Judaism.

Olami CEO Rabbi Menachem Deutsch said the weekend had exemplified the organisation’s mission to “inspire change and positive Jewish experiences”.

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