Israel #getconnected – Gallery
UJIA, The Embassy of Israel, the Jewish Agency for Israel and Masa Israel Journey UK brought 300 sixth form pupils from across London together for the third annual “Israel: Get Connected” conference, held at JFS in Kingsbury.
Students attended from JFS, Immanuel College and Yavneh College. Each pupil selected three sessions to attend out of 25 on offer, including street art, poverty in Israel, the history of the conflict and dissenting voices. The aim of the conference is to help students engage with Israel beyond what they see in the media to help forge positive, meaningful connections that they can take forward onto campus.
During the day, as well as attending sessions, pupils had an opportunity to learn more from many organisations exhibiting in the Israel Fair, including Israeli Universities, The Union of Jewish Students, Masa Israel Journey UK Gap Year programmes and more.
HE Ambassador Mark Regev spoke to pupils about Israel’s challenges and successes, and also about his Gap Year in Israel after completing high school in Melbourne. He warmly described his time on kibbutz, where his jobs included picking grapefruits, and working in a communal dining room. He also lived and studied in Jerusalem for 6 months and said, “I think going to Israel, either for the summer or an extended period is important, it gives you a lot. It also exposes you to a lot of things that you maybe hadn’t thought about before.”
Closing the day, American-Israeli comedian Molly Livingstone brought Israeli comedy to life, showcasing the often dark humour to be found in Israeli society. “Humour is a weapon that you cannot take away. That is why it is so powerful for Jews with our guilt and whatnot, and so powerful for Israel.”
UJIA’s Debra Green said, “We work really hard to put this event together because we want our young people to be genuinely inspired by Israel. There are so many sessions to choose from and we hope that the pupils feel that they could explore different sides to Israel and find out more about what interests them.”
JFS pupil Gabby Collins went to an informal session on Body Shaming, saying, “In Israel, they banned models who had a BMI of less than 18. It’s good because you don’t have to be too skinny. We had photos of people and we had to describe them and we talked about body shaming itself.” She also attended IDF and Israeli society and said learning about Israel was ‘more enjoyable, more fun in an informal setting.’
Photography Credit: Raya Cottrell Photography.