This morning our Chairperson, Yosef, was invited to address the quarterly meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations alongside leading members of the British and French Jewish communities as well as representatives of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is an American non-profit organization that addresses issues of critical concern to the Jewish community. It comprises 52 national Jewish organizations. It was founded to develop a consensus voice among Jewish organizations in dealings with the executive branch of the US government.
Yosef addressed the various challenges facing Jewish students world wide. He particularly highlighted the BDS movement, the rise of the far right in Europe and a worrying increase in Holocaust denial literature appearing on campuses. Yosef also spoke of the many successes that we have had in the WUJS/Jewish student union movement and encouraged the Conference to support the creation of a democratic Jewish student union in the United States.
We are pleased to report on election successes for WUJS activists and alumni at this weeks World Jewish Congress Plenary Assembly.
For the first time in 8 years the World Union of Jewish Students has been chosen as one of the 3 organisations to hold a Vice Presidency of the Congress! Our Chair, Yos Tarshish, will hold this ex officio role until he ends his term at WUJS and hands on to his successor. We are very honoured that communities from around the world have supported us and we will proudly represent Jewish students in this important forum!
The following current and former WUJS Executive Members were elected (ad personam) to the WJC Executive Committee :
Fresh out of leading the anti-apartheid movement at Boston University, Yossi Abramowitz took on six other candidates for the WUJS leadership and, at 21, became only the second American chairperson and the youngest. Using his activism skills, and bolstered by the professional stability of having Daniel Yossef as Executive Director, WUJS during his tenure (1987-90) rallied with success for the release of Soviet, Ethiopian and Yemenite Jewries, as well as status at the United Nations and dignity and fairness for Israel on campuses during the challenge of the first intifada.
His propensity for lobbying governments for human rights issues turned out to be a useful habit, as he now leads a global solar power enterprise, opening up new and challenging markets for green energy, particularly for the poorest of people in Africa. Like at WUJS, Energiya Global—located in Jerusalem—offers (unpaid) internships to students to join the movement toward energy for all and is also an impact investment platform for individuals and family offices.
In addition to spreading the light of solar energy in the name of Israel and the Jewish people, Abramowitz was the first private-sector candidate for President of the State of Israel and also served on the Israeli negotiating team at the Paris Climate Conference. He accompanies Prime Minister Netanyahu on his trips to Africa. Winner of numerous environmental, business, educational and journalism awards, he is married to Women of the Wall’s Rabbi Susan Silverman and they have five children, including Hallel Abramowitz (IDC ‘2019), Communications Director of WUJS.
He can be followed on Twitter @KaptainSunshine
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