A summit meeting of the heads of the Zionist organizations of Europe and Scandinavia is taking place this weekend in Germany to discuss how to coordinate activities and work together more effectively on Israel advocacy and the promotion of education about Israel and Zionism.
The four-day conference, being held in the newly-built Munich Jewish Community Center, opened with a dinner Thursday evening. This was being followed by a visit to Dachau and a talk by a Holocaust survivor.
Among those attending are the presidents of the Zionist Federations of Europe, including representatives from Britain, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Holland, Belgium and France. Ilan Mor, from the Israeli Embassy in Germany, and representatives of the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization (WZO) are also in attendance.
Rabbi Yechiel Wasserman, head of the Department for Religious Affairs in the Diaspora at WZO, in his keynote speech on Friday entitled "Cooperating with our Partners," is to talk about the importance of cooperation between organizations such as Keren Kayemet, Keren Hayasod, the Jewish Agency and WZO.
Opening the congress was Dr. David Breakstone, head of the Department for Zionist Activities of the World Zionist Federation, who spoke about the challenges facing the Zionist Movement today.
Andrew Balcombe, president of the Zionist Federation of Britain and Ireland, who is to speak Friday on the goals and challenges of the European forum, said, "The aim of the conference is to work together and strengthen cooperation between the Zionist movements of Europe so we can use our resources and contacts, as well as the wonderful resources available in Israel, to better effect in Europe."
The congress will cover a diverse range of topics, including the future of the World Zionist Organization, goals and projects for the coming year, including the celebration of Israel's 60th Independence Day, the 40th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem and the study of Herzl and marking of Herzl Day.
Other items on the agenda include the creation of an International Jewish Media Conference and a gathering of Jewish media professionals from around the world.