Diaspora youngsters enjoy a Birthright Israel trip to the Jewish state..
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Mosaic United, the flagship project of the Diaspora Affairs Ministry, has chosen its leadership to run its innovative programming. After six months of searching, Mosaic’s search committee selected Rabbi Benjamin Levy, who has been dean of Jewish Life and Learning at Moriah College in Sydney, Australia for the last five years, to serve as interim CEO. Levy will be joined by Alan Gill, the former CEO of the Joint Distribution Committee, who, it was recently reported, will serve as Mosaic’s Senior Advisor. Levy was awarded the Educator of the Year Award this year for his leadership in the Australian Jewish community.
“We are very pleased with the progress of Mosaic to date and in the near term will be announcing a number of new initiatives, as well as an expansion of our steering committee to include a number of international and very accomplished Jewish lay leaders,” said chairman of the Mosaic United Steering Committee, Gary Torgow. “We look forward to Benjamin Levy joining the leadership of Mosaic.”
Leaders from the Australian Jewish community applauded Levy’s appointment. President of Moriah College, Giora Friede, said in a statement that, “Levy is one of those special individuals who continues to dream big, push the boundaries, think outside the box and bring people across the spectrum of Jewish observance along with him. While we are very sad to see him leave our community in Sydney, we are excited to see him take his vision and his passion and make a significant impact on Diaspora Jewry worldwide.”
Mosaic United is a public-private partnership between non-profits and the Diaspora Affairs Ministry. Its first program launched last year on campuses has engaged over 22,000 students across 24 countries and on 300 campuses. The Ministry of Diaspora Affairs invested $22 million in its campus efforts, which was matched by private philanthropists and partner organizations. The project focuses specifically on previously unengaged or under-engaged Jewish students.
It recently froze a plan to create a database of all the Jewish students in the US, after Hillel International, one of the organizations involved in the wider campus initiative, objected to the program.
According to its website, Mosaic United seeks “to build a thriving, pluralistic worldwide Jewish community that will ensure the future of our people” and that it believes “there is a way for the Jewish community to be inclusive, Jewish and united.”