Olmert to lead Israeli delegation to GA in LA
Hilary Leila Krieger
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is set to lead a record delegation of four Israeli ministers to the General Assembly in Los Angeles this November. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Education Minister Yuli Tamir and Tourism Minister Isaac Herzog are all scheduled to attend, as well as Knesset opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu, head of the Likud party. The GA, the largest annual gathering of Jewish leaders, has been overhauled to emphasize Israel and will be held under the title of "Together on the Frontline: One People, One Destiny." The bevy of ministers reflects the new approach. In the past, Michael Kotzin, the executive vice president of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, acknowledged, "You were lucky to get one [minister]." Kotzin was speaking to The Jerusalem Post about the revamped program, conceived of after the war in Lebanon. "'It became clear to us that whatever was being planned for the GA, something needed to be done to address the current realities," Kotzin told the Post in September. The war created "an intensified sense of connection between Israel and North American Jewry." This year all of the major sessions at the congress, which attracts around 4,000 people each fall, are expected to feature Israel-related topics, including the Israeli homefront and the threat faced by Israelis and Jews worldwide. In another departure, the last day of the four-day assembly will include creating an agenda for action.
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