2011 Conference
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David Breakstone

World Zionist Organization

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David Breakstone is Vice Chairman of the World Zionist Organization. Past positions of his include Director, Pedagogic Center for Jewish Education, Hebrew University; Director, Ramah Programs in Israel; Associate Dean, Schechter Institute. He earned his Ph.D.from Hebrew University in the field of Teaching Israel and has been published widely on the subject. His column "Keep dreaming" appears bi-weekly in The Jerusalem Post.

Next Year in Jerusalem:

Fact, Fiction, or Farce?

Identity & Responsibility, Israel

After "Shema Yisrael (Hear O Israel)," there is no phrase that might be considered a watchword of our faith more than "Next year in Jerusalem." But what do we really mean when we say it? Examining a wide range of texts on Jerusalem, from the ancient to the contemporary, we will explore our own relationship to this many faceted city, including both its celestial and earthly dimensions. By extension, we will also begin delving into Israel-Diaspora relations and the real meaning of Israel in our lives.

From Altneuland to Tel Aviv

A Journey with Herzl


Herzl's Zionism was not only about creating a refuge for the Jewish people, but also about forging an exemplary society that would be a "light onto the nations." What we have created until now falls far short of that. On this journey in pursuit of the Zionist vision, we will contemplate how to relate to an Israel that has not met the expectations of its founding fathers, particularly against the background of a growing campaign to delegitimize the very essence of the Zionist idea.

American Jews—from the Israeli Perspective

A Panel Discussion

David Breakstone, Refael "Rafi" Feuerstein, Eliav Rodman, Barry Mark Spielman

Interactive, Israel

"As Prime Minister of Israel, I promise you that I will not permit anything to undermine the unity of our people. Israel must always be a place that each and every one of you can call home." So said Benjamin Netanyahu at the GA, Nov 8, 2010. Is Israel the center of the Jewish world? What kind of partnership is this? Is it love? Marriage? Does Israel speak to me or for me? Is Israel a home away from home? Explore the relationship of the Jewish State with Jews around the world along with four Israelis. There will be at least five opinions—bring yours.

My Wife is a Bigamist!

Getting Personal on Israel

Identity & Responsibility, Israel

For decades, the terms "the State of Israel" and "the Jewish state" have been virtually interchangeable. Suddenly the matter is controversial – not only because of our enemies but because of pending legislation on conversion, increasingly intolerant Chief Rabbinate strictures regarding personal status, and new manifestations of religious coercion. The potential disenfranchisement of huge segments of the Jewish people will be explored through personal anecdotes regarding marriage and divorce.


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