11 Rockland organizations head to Israel
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11 Rockland organizations head to Israel

The Jewish Federation & Foundation of Rockland County will bring 28 leaders from 11 Jewish agencies and synagogues, including the Rockland County Board of Rabbis, to a seminar in Tel Aviv from February 5 to 9. It is made possible by the Lily Steuer Fund of the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Rockland County, and it is the first of its kind for Rockland’s Jewish leaders.

Systematic Inventive Thinking will lead the seminar, “Challenge, Innovation and Renaissance.” The Israeli firm helps companies and organizations succeed by achieving self-sustaining innovation. Representatives from SIT started working with the Rockland organizations in November, when they ran a workshop on innovative thinking at the JCC Campus in West Nyack. The February seminar will continue the work that began in November and give participants a firsthand look at Jewish innovation in Israel.

Gary Siepser, CEO of the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Rockland County, hopes the seminar will teach Rockland Jewish organizations how to work together in an innovative way to respond to the changing Jewish landscape.

“Jewish institutions need to embrace innovation and evolve in a meaningful way if they are to remain relevant in people’s lives,” Mr. Siepser said. “This is true not only for synagogues but for agencies like the federation and the JCC, and our Jewish schools too. Because we are all facing the same challenges of a changing Jewish world, we can best respond by learning and working together.”

Cantor Barry Kanarek, director of federation’s Rockland Jewish Initiative, is coordinating the seminar. According to Cantor Kanarek, “Israel’s rich history of innovation is a vast source of inspiration for Rockland’s Jewish future. By combining a historical look at Israeli innovation with the inventive thinking process, I’m optimistic we will leave Tel Aviv with a new vision for Rockland’s Jewish future.”

Organizations represented include Congregation Shaarey Israel, Hillel of Rockland, Israel Bonds, JCC Rockland, Jewish Federation & Foundation of Rockland County, New City Jewish Center, Orangetown Jewish Center, Rockland Jewish Academy, Rockland Jewish Family Service, Temple Beth Sholom, and West Clarkstown Jewish Center.

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