Eighty-five mayors attended a conference of mayors and heads of local authorities held last weekend organized by the World Zionist Organization and the Zionist Council in Israel, marking the 75th anniversary of the State of Israel and the 125th anniversary of the First Zionist Congress in Basel.
The weekend was opened with a tour taken by the heads of the local authorities in the footsteps of Theodor Herzl and a visit to the National Institutions in Jerusalem, where the decision to establish the State of Israel was made. The mayors held an open dialogue with Yaakov Hagoel, Chairman of the World Zionist Organization, who initiated the conference, and Tova Dorfman, Deputy Chairman of the World Zionist Organization, which was followed by remarks by the incoming Minister of Immigration and Absorption, Ofir Sofer MK, who reviewed the challenges of the government in general and his ministry in particular and by Haim Bibas, Chairman of the Federation of Local Authorities in Israel, who spoke about issues on the agenda of the heads of local and regional authorities.
On Saturday, the heads of the authorities discussed the issues on the agenda and their impact on the Authority and enjoyed relevant content. Those present also spoke with the former Minister of Welfare Meir Cohen MK and the former ambassador of Israel to the UN, MK Danny Danon, as part of a panel.
On Saturday evening, the host, Mayor Moshe Lion of Jerusalem, greeted those present. On Hebrew Language Day, which was observed on Thursday, January 12, marking the birthday of Eliezer Ben Yehuda, father of modern Hebrew, the heads of the local authorities were treated to a captivating lecture by Gil Hovav, great-grandson of Eliezer Ben Yehuda.
Yaakov Hagoel, Chairman of the World Zionist Organization: “The heads of local and regional authorities are implementing large parts of Herzl’s vision for the creation of a model society. The heads of the authorities promote the issues facing the residents before the other institutions and the various government bodies and focus on the well-being of every resident in the authority’s sector. You help Jews immigrate to Israel, but no less important than that - in their absorption into Israeli society, economy, language and culture – this combination of making a vision for the people and society is the fulfillment of Zionism.”
Tova Dorfman, Deputy Chair of the World Zionist Organization and Head of the Israel Department and Holocaust Commemoration: “I believe that the local leadership led by the mayors has the power to create partnerships that include innovation, leading to modern Zionist values. The heads of the authorities are at the forefront of social action, and I am proud of the close cooperation between the World Zionist Organization and the Zionist Council and the Heads of the Authorities, of which this conference is a wonderful expression.”
Advocate Oz Haim, CEO of the Zionist Council in Israel: “We were happy to host dozens of heads of Authorities from all over the country in Jerusalem who came to this special conference to mark the 75th anniversary of the State of Israel. This year’s conference included values of Zionism from the past and facets of modern Zionism, looking toward the future. I see the local leadership as of the utmost importance, and I am sure that the guests will continue on a path that will help them in their further work for the entire public.”