In the face of the increasing global campaign to delegitimise Israel, the Board of Deputies (Cape Council), launched a series of seminars to develop the advocacy skills of Jewish community leaders.
|Youth Council chairman and Netzer representative
Lauren Kessler in discussion with Anton Katz
The course was made possible by the support and generous funding of the CK Harris Memorial Foundation. The aim of the seminar was to increase the knowledge and expertise of the community’s professional and lay leadership, so that they are better equipped to promote the best interests of the community and to combat the deligitimisation and BDS campaign.
Each session focused on practical skills, with the group meeting twice a month over a three-month period. Participants comprised of a select group of Jewish communal professionals, lay leaders and interns with leadership aspirations.
The take-home value of the seminar was to provide an ‘activism tool kit’ to empower the participants with the necessary skills and expertise to promote Israel or their specific organisation’s aims and goals. This core group will become ‘advocacy ambassadors’ and impart their skills back into their respective organisations, which will result in continuous learning and skills development.
The workshops were facilitated by experts in a variety of areas. Some of the presenters were seasoned Israel advocates while others were lobbyists in different fields. Participants represented a variety of organisations, such as the Board of Deputies, the Zionist Federation, Herzlia Schools, the SA Union of Jewish Students, the youth movements, Group 18, the United Jewish Campaign, CSO and Bridges for Peace.
As the Russell Tribunal on Palestine approaches, it is vital that our communal leaders brush up on their advocacy skills and that members of the Jewish and pro-Israel communities actively and effectively lobby for the State of Israel.