Yesterday, I hosted a panel on Israel and the Diaspora at the Jewish Agency Assembly in Jerusalem. Joining me were Ed Rettig, the director of the Israel/Middle East office at the American Jewish Committee; Solly Sacks, the director-general of the World Mizrahi Movement and member of the Jewish Agency Executive; Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the new president of the Union for Reform Judaism; and Rabbi Vernon Kurtz, president of the World Organization of the Zionist arm of the Conservative Movement and member of the Jewish Agency Board of Governors.
The debate touched on a wide range of subjects, including the question of whether American Jews are really shying away from the term Zionist, the Zionism of Israeli Jews, the dominance of the Orthodox tradition at the Western Wall, and what Israeli Jews expect from their brothers and sisters in the Diaspora.
Do the two sides really understand each other? What is Zionism today? What role should the State of Israel have in Jewish religious practices? Hear what our distinguished panel has to say on these topics and more.