Thursday, 26 March 2009

JC just applied for ROI2009

Since fulfilling his own personal goal at the tender age of 18 by leaving Anatevka (Manchester), Jonny has spent the last 15 years trying to find ways to help turn Israel into the country and State that he envisioned.
A mini-career in Hi-tech at the end of the '90s forced Jonny into a life of community work and non-profit management once he realised that the search for "the good life" would likely lead him back west of Tel Aviv.
Fours years of Israeli regional government and community work with the communities and children of the Shomron prepared Jonny for a period of service as the senior Shaliach of the Jewish Agency in Western Canada, based in Winnipeg.
Returning to Israel at the end of 2005 to the position of CEO of the World Union of Jewish Students led to a full realisation of the desperate need for professional management in the Israeli non-profit sector and, even moreso, the Jewish World bodies.
Jonny has spent the last couple of years in resource development in the Israeli third sector, and fulfills his need for ideological fulfillment through active participation in the building of organizations such as Israel2020 and Israel Connect.

Besides my activities assisting in the fundraising for a local synagogue in my community, my involvement is currently in four areas:
1) professionally I serve as Director for Resource Development for a hospital in Bnei Brak that was founded to provide for the needs of the Ultra-Orthodox community. This hospital is the world leader in the research and practice of medical science according to Jewish Law, studying and writing the oral law for tomorrow that will facilitate the use of modern developments in tandem with Jewish Halacha. My style is one of relationship fundraising, raising awareness and building community around a good aim and a worthy cause.
2) For the past 3 years I have been an activist and leader in Israel2020. Born out of concern that the disconnect that our generation feels in its own homeland is, in no small part, due to the disregard for our needs exhibited by our political leaders, and their inability to enable us to take our place as the leaders of the State of Israel in the future. Currently the General Secretary of the movement, I have responsibility for matters of organisational structure and meeting legislatory requirements.
3) Since I can remember I have always played an active role in ideological movements. I am an active member of the World Likud and the Likud Party English Division.
4) Israel Connect is an organization dedicated to developing and facilitating a two-way, long-term, interpersonal connection between Jewish youth from around the world and their peers in Israel, and to those of their peers serving in the Israel Defence Forces, in order to reinforce Jewish continuity and Jewish identity. I am the first member of the lay-leadership board that is currently being built. My experience has enabled me to assist in building the structure of the organisation, and to facilitate the process of mission definition and marketing.
My heart belongs to the Jewish World and our future. Whether professionally or voluntarily I intend to maximize the benefit that my knowledge, experience and energy can give to the causes in which I truly believe.

My first three aims are all part and parcel of the fourth, super-aim:
1) Community: The world of the Jewish social activist is a wonderous thing to experience. Our circles are manned by some of the most interesting, effective and driven people in the world. Not only would I take great pride in being numbered among this body of activism, I would also take very much to heart mr responsibility to take an active role in the life of the community in any and every way in which I can effectively add benefit to the work being done.
2) Shared Experience and Knowledge: each one of the 120 participants this year, together with each one of those from years gone by, has a wealth of knowledge, experience, information and skills from which the missions to which I turn my hand may benefit through my exposure to this community. I will gladly share whatever I can bring to the table.
3) New Energy: The role of the third sector, NPO/NGOs, social society, is never to be completed, its need neverending. There is no better way to recharge the activist batteries than to spend time in such an intense dynamic of energy as this program will allow. Add to that the networking that takes place and the community that forms and grows and you have a self sustaining source of energy that can support activism and positive work for a lifetime.
4) Hope: There are many good people promoting many great causes. It is only natural that the day-to-day can lead to a resilience to renewal and a narrowing of horizons. Competition becomes a concern rather than a boost, resources suddenly appear inadequate, social life becomes a distant memory. Participation in a shared experience facilitated by a platform such as ROI can revitalise that essential spark that stops us questioning whether what we do counts, and reminds us that we KNOW that what we do counts! I want to plug into this power source, and I wish to feed it with whatever I have to give.

Building and facilitating Networks of Purpose is what I have done and what I do.... and I know that it can be done more and it can be done better!
The Jewish People have survived and grown as a nation because of our ability to communicate, this is an unarguable fact. That the modern era, with its explosion of communication development, is a challenge to the survival of our people is a less recognised phenomenon. Have the myriad of communications breakthroughs not offered an opportunity? Have they not facilitated far more volume and variety of communication than ever before? Of course, but this growth and variation has also necessitated the development of a whole industry aimed to aid us in making use of these very tools and skills for the preservation of our age-old community and tradition.
My hope is that the development of this industry, facilitated by this track, will promote the survival of our people through the best use of all resources available, and that I can share what I have to offer with the pool of available resources that, through the network of purpose formed within the ROI community, will make our Jewish World better for the future.