|Written by Boston Office|
CONSCIENCE + COMMUNITY
New Generations Canada is an open and vibrant community of young professionals, social activists, and community leaders in their 20 to 40, who are committed to the work of the New Israel Fund of Canada, the leading Canadian organization promoting social justice and equality for all Israelis.
The New Generation group of the New Israel Fund of Canada (NIFC) was pleased to host Israel: Perceptions vs. Reality, an interactive discussion about young Canadians’ transformative experiences in Israel.
The event brought out five diverse and engaging speakers who all spent time living, working and volunteering in Israel with a wide variety of organizations.
Rabbi Aaron Levy (Moderator) is a leader in the revival of downtown Jewish life in Toronto. He is the founder and director of Makom: Creative Downtown Judaism, a grassroots community integrating arts, activism, spirituality, and learning. Aaron also teaches percussion and is a sought-out educator on a wide variety of Jewish topics, especially ethical eating, environmentalism, spirituality, pluralism, and social justice.
Gillian Murphy is a 3rd year university student at the Glendon College of York University studying Drama and Psychology. She is involved with The Mary Ward Centre for Truth and Justice and is also a Director of Youth Talks. Gillian traveled to Israel in July and August of 2012 with Operation Groundswell to learn more about Jewish-Arab equality. She came back with a new appreciation for Israel, its people, and its culture.
Jenny Issacs has been exploring her Jewish and Zionist identity together with other youth at weekly Hashomer Hatzair activities and at its summer camp, Camp Shomria. After high school, Jenny spent six months with Hashomer Hatzair’s gap-year program, Shnat Hachshara where she taught English at a community center in Ofakim.
Benjamin Langer is a medical student at Western and is working on refugee health issues both in Canada with the Canadian Federation of Medical Students and in Israel/Palestine with Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-Israel). From 2009-2011, he pursued an MA at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in Israel/Palestine. This past June-July, Ben worked in Tel Aviv with PHR-Israel. Benjamin also volunteered at the PHR-Israel Open Clinic for undocumented people and with ARDC's women's empowerment project.
Natasha Greenblatt is a graduate of the National Theatre School. She has played Anne Frank in Montreal and Hamilton, and won a Dora Award for Get Yourself Home Skyler James. Her first full-length play, The Peace Maker, was part of the 2013 Next Stage Festival. Natasha traveled to Israel and Palestine and volunteered with Project Hope in Nablus in 2009.
Moderated by Rabbi Aaron Levy of Makom Downtown Jewish Creative Center, the discussion focused on many of the domestic issues facing Israel today from Bedouin land rights to religious pluralism. The speakers spoke of their experience working and dealing with these issues and how this perception of the country came to change as they faced many of the realities of living in Israel. This NIFC New Generation provided a jumping off point for individuals interested in learning more about the many domestic issues facing Israel. In the future, we will be exploring these issues more in-depth through further programming.
"It was great to hear such a diverse range of thoughtful perspectives from the panel. Knowing that there are people in our community interested in sharing sometimes hard realities and seeing their openness to discussing ways to move forward, was really heartening for me" - Aaron Rotenberg
Please check our Facebook page for more photo's and for upcoming information on event's in the future!
February 10, 2011
NIFC New Generations Canada partnered with Yalla Journal to present NIF Board Member Nabila Espanioly in downtown Toronto. With a crowd of over 40 people and standing room only, Nabila spoke about her life as a Palestinian-Israeli and the challenges she has faced throughout her life, all which have compelled her to establish many civil society organization in Israel. A fervent feminist, advocate for Palestinian-Israeli preschool children and citizens, Nabila spoke about the impact her work has had on her community and addressed the work that lies ahead.
July 14, 2010
New Generations Canada and Makom partnered to bring Whose Zionism? to young people in Toronto’s Jewish community. The event was an opportunity for participants to discuss their thoughts on the intersection between Israel, liberal values and Jewish community, in the inclusive and open setting of the Kiever Synagogue in the heart of Toronto’s developing Jewish downtown core.
With 60 participants, the discussion was dynamic and lively, using Peter Beinart’s ground-breaking article The Failure of the Jewish Establishment as a springboard. The program provided a safe space for young people in their 20s to 40s to engage each other and explore what Israel means to them, what struggles have developed in their relationship to the State, and how they view Jewish community in Toronto and beyond.
The program, a New Generations Canada initiative, exceeded expectations both in terms of the number of attendees and the scope of discussion. Participants voiced their enthusiasm, commenting on the “need in the community for events like these,” and affirming that the event was “very engaging”.
March 1, 2010
NIFC New Generations Event With Yohannes Bayu of the African Refugee Development Center
Social and spiritual activists as well as concerned young Canadians attended this unique opportunity to meet, discuss and engage Yohannes Bayu about the plight of African asylum seekers in Israel.