On the last week of August 2021, WUJS - World Union of Jewish Students selected and brought 15 Jewish student leaders from around the world, for an historic delegation into the United Arab Emirates.
"The History of today is shaped by politics. The History of tomorrow is shaped by established activists and young leaders." Jonathan Braun - President, World Union of Jewish Students.
Through a full week of meetings, sessions, engagement and diplomacy, the group met and held sessions with numerous local and international entities, learning about the Arab world, the Jewish community, the development of peace and normalization with Israel, as well as the development of coexistence in the region.
During the expedition, the cohort met with members of the local Jewish community, from young to old, to gain insight into their perspectives and grasp their challenges. The student had the opportunity to share an open discussion with Ross Kriel - President of the Jewish Council of the Emirates; and Rabbi Levi Duchman - Head of the Jewish Community Center in the UAE.
Furthermore, the group met with H.E. Ilan Sztulman - Head of Mission of the Israeli Consulate to Dubai ; H.E. Marc Sievers - AJC Director to Abu Dhabi ; Amitai Young - Parliamentary Advisor to the Speaker of the Knesset ; Eitan Behar - Advisor to the Chairman of the World Zionist Organization ; representatives to share the complexity of politics and advocacy in the Arab world, as well as the incredible development of relations between the United Arab Emirates and Israel.
"Real change is the result of conversations among peers, a shared vision, and a commitment to create a better future by all partners, today's and tomorrow's leaders alike." Shelly Wolkowicz - Executive Director, World Union of Jewish Students.
The week also opened the door to young activism where participants contributed expertise. Yoni Hammerman, WJC NextGen senior manager, led sessions throughout the week on building long-term partnerships.
Finally, alongside meeting with foreign and local press, as well as other actors of the United Arab Emirates life, the World Union of Jewish Students met with local Emirati young activists. Majed and Saoud, took a seat at our table to share their stories, vision, perspectives and hopes for the present and future of the country, the peace process and the coexistence between Jews and Muslims, Emiratis and Israelis.
The World Union of Jewish Students will relentlessly continue to fight for peace and coexistence, and is looking forward to pursue this journey.