(photo credit: Yoav Devir)
How do you inspire the younger generation to get involved in the work of KKL JNF? A discussion on young leadership for ensuring the future of KKL JNF was organized with Mr. Gael Grinwald, KKL JNF Deputy Chairman, also in charge of education; Dr. Daniel Segre, KKL JNF Organizational Coach; Ms. Judith Perl-Strasser, KKL JNF Young Leadership, Europe Desk; Ms. Marisa Gordon, KKL JNF Argentina; Mr. Robert Schneider, KKL JNF Australia; and Dr. Schaul Chorev, KKL JNF Germany.
The session was opened by Mr. Gael Grinwald, who spoke about Jewish, Zionist and ecological education. “At the center of the Passover holiday is an important tenet: ‘You shall tell your child on that day.’ On the independence day of the Jewish nation, the emphasis is on education, continuity and tradition.” He also said that KKL JNF is the link between the nation and its land, between the citizens of Israel and the Jews of the diaspora, between the land, the water and the trees. “The ideas represented by KKL JNF are connected to the daily lives of people and to their connection with the Jewish people,” he said.
Regarding the connection between education and fundraising, Mr. Grinwald said that these two things go well together. “When a boy comes home from school and tells his parents that he learned about Tu Bishvat, his parents are glad for his connection to what KKL JNF represents. One day this boy will grow up, and maybe he will want to be involved in KKL-JNF's activities.
“Leadership is a tool for presenting innovation within a system,” said Dr. Daniel Segre. “A true leader takes a group of people and leads them to do things they did not believe they could do.” The difference between a leader and a manager, according to Segre, is that “the manager cares about the work getting done, but a leader has a vision, for which courage and power is necessary.
Ms. Judith Perl-Strasser, who led the next panel, opened by saying that a vision may be vague, and that the significant challenge is to realize the vision.
Ms. Marisa Gordon spoke about efforts to develop young leadership in Argentina under the title JNF FUTURE. “Ecology is trendy these days and attracts many young people in their thirties and forties,” she said. The aim of the work is to foster young leadership that will undertake modern, innovative projects.
“We need new leaders and new donors,” said Mr. Robert Schneider, “if we succeed in turning the present leadership and the future leadership into a fostering leadership, we will be able to attract people through emotion.”
Dr. Schaul Chorev presented the greenXchange program for cultivating young leadership. The exchange groups organized through greenXchange make initial contact between a group of Israeli young people and a group of German young people. With the program's establishment, a green group has been created with people from both countries, which includes 24 members age 22 to 35, who are educated, talented and highly motivated.
About half a year ago greenXchange held a seminar in Israel, and after which they formed work teams focusing on topics such as data sharing, business ventures, participation in R&D, involvement in KKL JNF projects, increasing awareness in Germany, and fundraising.