The World Jewish Congress – the preeminent international federation of Jewish communities and organizations – will establish a platform for Jewish high school students called the Jewish Youth Assembly to connect with each other and discuss challenges facing the global Jewish community.
The JYA will invite over 100 participants to be assigned to one of 12 country delegations representing a Jewish community. The youth delegations will then meet with leaders of those Jewish communities to learn first-hand about their unique characteristics and specific challenges.
The assembly will also specifically grapple with modern issues facing Jewish youth worldwide, such as preserving the memory of the Holocaust as survivors continue to leave us and first-hand testimony grows scarce.
Combating online and social-media based antisemitism and anti-Zionism will also be a focus of the group, whose framework is similar to that of “Model UN”, the educational simulation in which students learn about diplomacy, international relations and the United Nations. Online antisemitism is a particularly novel challenge, as the rapidly-changing Internet landscape brings along a bevy of new problems.
“The younger generation, which may already face antisemitism today, will be tasked with leading the global Jewish community tomorrow,” World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said. “In creating the Jewish Youth Assembly, WJC is investing in these future leaders and launching essential conversations across continents. Participants will leave the program better informed, better equipped and better connected to tackle the challenges of the Jewish people.”
The World Jewish Congress was founded in 1936, in the midst of the Holocaust in Europe, with a mission to strengthen Jewish unity and political influence in order to assure the survival of the Jewish people. The WJC was famously involved in the establishment of the State of Israel, securing reparations from Germany for atrocities committed during the Holocaust, and securing rights for Jews in Soviet and Mizrahi regions.
Applications for the JYA assembly, which will meet virtually during two Sundays in February 2022, are now open to Jewish teenagers aged 15 to 18.