December 5, 2012–Undeterred by recent turbulence, JCC Association, the leadership network of the Jewish Community Center Movement, is leaving on a 10-day staff seminar to Israel on December 8. To show their support to those affected by recent rocket attacks, the group of 25 staff members will head to the south of Israel as soon as they arrive, spending the night in Kibbutz Mashabe Sade and investigating different empowerment projects in the peripheral villages. The seminar will continue in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, examining contemporary social issues in Israel and meeting with Israeli community center professionals.
This staff trip is funded in part by the Lenny Rubin Staff Israel Fund, which was established in honor of Leonard Rubin, the long-time executive vice-president of program services at JCC Association, by his wife Laura and his daughter Michelle Rubin Silberglied. Rubin was deeply committed to JCC staff visiting Israel frequently, believing that only direct personal experience would make them effective ambassadors to JCC members.
“I’m especially pleased that our seminar includes both first timers and veterans of Israel travel and living. It should prove to be a terrific experience,” said Allan Finkelstein, JCC Association president and CEO. “The JCC/Israel Connection is a high priority of the movement, and staff seminars have proven to be an excellent means of drawing our staff closer to Israel and its people.”
The seminar has been planned by JCC Association’s office in Jerusalem, which plans and coordinates customized seminars and educational journeys for JCC staff, boards, and members throughout the year. The last JCC Association staff seminar took place in 2005.
In Jerusalem, the group will spend time discussing the new JCC Movement Vision and Statement of Principles for the 21st Century, which states “Israel is an eternal birthright of the Jewish people, linking us to our past and to Jews around the world today.” The focus in Tel Aviv will be on the arts and how communities in Israel and the Diaspora can work together to confront global challenges facing the Jews.