Youth wave Israeli flags outside the WZO 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
All Jews are responsible for one another” is not an empty expression, but
contains the essence of the Jewish people.
The Jewish world as a whole is
facing many challenges these days, the greatest of which is ensuring youths’
sense of belonging to their people, as well as a sense of mutual commitment
between Israel’s future leaders and the Jewish world’s future
Last year I attended Camp Rising Sun, a special international
There, I met 60 representatives from many countries,
nations and cultures. Getting to know non-Israeli Jews for the very first time
in my life was a special and enlightening experience.
That was the first
time I realized that there is an alarming distancing between the Jewish world
and the State of Israel. Unless we act soon, within a few decades we will notice
a negative trend in the Jewish world’s attitude toward the State of Israel and
In Israel, we have been witnessing a worrying trend
as well; the attitude of Israeli youth to the larger Jewish world. Israel’s
youth by and large lack the understanding that the Jewish state is part of
something bigger. Unfortunately, The Israeli educational system understands the
importance of teaching Jewish history, but not of teaching about the Jewish
The future of the Jewish people is no less important than our
past. It is not enough to learn about its history.
By teaching about the
present, we will ensure the next Israeli generation will be a partner in shaping
the future of the Jewish people, not just by shaping the Israeli future, which
affects the Jewish one, but with an understanding of it is part of the Jewish
“An Israeli leader has three leadership roles, which partially
overlap each other but are also different: An Israeli leader is a Jewish Zionist
leader in Israel for all its residents; a leader of the Jewish people in Zion;
and a leader of the Jewish people as a whole including the Diaspora,” writes
Prof. Yehezkel Dror, the founding president of the Jewish People Policy
Institute in his Hebrew-language book Be A Leader For Us (2011).
teaching Israel’s youth about the Jewish world as it is today, we will ensure
the next generation of Israeli leadership takes the third role upon itself, as
The Jewish Diaspora must also ask what can be done to preserve its
willingness to work for the greater Jewish future.
To this end, I
advocate the creation of a Jewish Parliament which will symbolize the
cooperation between all parts of the Jewish world, including the State of
The Jewish Parliament will serve as a focus for dialogue and
discussion, a place where all representatives will be able to express their
views and opinions.
Until the establishment of such parliament, it’s our
obligation to create a platform for Jewish youth to discuss important subjects
and expand their knowledge about the Jewish world by speaking with and getting
to know representatives from many places. Such a project can be developed via
the Internet, the most natural forum for today’s youth.
I see an active,
organized Jewish world body which allows the youth to take an active part in
shaping their future. Making a better tomorrow for our children does not mean
only creating one, but also putting in place a platform for action after the
reins are passed on. It is our responsibility to let future generations complete
what we began.The author is a 16-year-old Israeli youth representative.