The 2008 General Assembly (GA) of the United Jewish Communities/Federations of North America celebrates Israel's 60th anniversary, with the theme "One People, One Destiny." It will take place Nov. 16-19 in Jerusalem and across the Jewish State, and is expected to draw thousands of Jews from around the world. GA video addresses Barak, Olmert, Peres, Harel, Bronfman, Bielski, Barkat, Manning and Wilf Livni: Israel won't attend Durban II "Conference seeks to legitimize hatred and racism," FM tells GA. Netanyahu vows rapid Palestinian economic growth Plan includes lowering taxes, real estate reform and rapid development of trains and roads to connect the North and South to the center of the country. A renewable light Could the federation system save the world? A seasoned entrepreneur and former GA insider wonders, "Why not?" Peres to GA: Focus on science and education is the long-term answer to economic crisis "What matters is the intelligence of your country, not its length, its width or its depth," president tells GA. A brave new philanthropic world It's time to face facts. The world under globalization is becoming leaner and leaner - a process now exacerbated by the omnipresent financial crisis. Pledges are up, but checks are being delayed Jewish volunteers who met in Tel Aviv over the weekend for the International Lions of Judah conference pledged $16 million for 2009, a 13 percent increase over this year. As GA meets, Hebrew U examines declining US Jewish philanthropy Some 19 percent of funding for Israel's third sector - around $1.5 billion annually - comes from American Jewish sources. Olmert to GA: US must take lead against Iran Cites "weakening affinity" of Diaspora youth, falling Jewish birthrates as threats equal to Iran, terror. Netanyahu pledges to continue talks with PA "We need to make peace from the bottom up, rather than the top down, by improving the lives of Palestinians so that they have a stake in peace," he said. Financial crisis crashes GA's party Crisis has generated profound uncertainty about the ability of the American Jewish federations to continue to provide desperately needed social services to America's poor, including the one Jew in five who lives below the poverty line in the US. Charity dollars are holy dollars (opinion) Just as government officials fly economy to demonstrate respect for taxpayers' dollars, charitable leaders should show reverence for donors' dollars. American Jewry's challenge (opinion) Even the most committed Jewish youngsters are often unprepared for the anti-Israelism which plagues US universities. An old-new phenomenon Philanthropy in Israel must adapt to a changing environment. One on One with Nachman Shai: Israel on his mind Outgoing UJC external affairs director-general, says his goal is to provide GA participants with an experience to keep their connection to this country going strong. An Israeli idealist As far as JAFI chairman Zeev Bielski is concerned, the Jewish Agency has an eternal mandate. Haredim are hard hit This sector of Israeli society is largely dependent on the largesse of Diaspora Jews. US olim gear up to host GA guests UJC invites all AACI members to conference's closing session.