KKL-JNF representatives and officials from Europe and Israel at the European Leadership Conference 2019 in Paris. Photo: KKL-JNF
This past weekend (June 13-16), leaders of Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (KKL) and Jewish National Fund (JNF) offices from around Europe and representatives of KKL-JNF in Israel came together in Paris, to build a shared vision for the future of the state of Israel and the Jewish People.
The three-day conference included productive discussions on vital issues such as the current security situation in Israel; the opportunity-and-socioeconomic gap between central Israel and its outlying regions (referred to in Israel as ‘the periphery’); the challenges and developments in the digital and cyber era; and ways to combat the phenomenon of global anti-Semitism and de-legitimization of Israel.
As a show of support and solidarity, the President of the Senate of the Czech Republic, Jaroslav Kubera, attended the conference and spoke with KKL-JNF World Chairman Daniel Atar about the country’s unwavering support of Israel, and on his personal stance on moving the Czech Republic embassy to Jerusalem.
During the conference, World Chairman Daniel Atar presented the initiative “KKL-JNF 2040: Moving to the Land of Tomorrow”. In the framework of this initiative, the organization aims to focus on strengthening the next generation by creating new hi-tech hubs in northern and southern Israel, in order to boost local communities and their economies and help them thrive. KKL-JNF knows that a stronger periphery will lead to an even stronger Israel.
The KKL-JNF 2040 Initiative will include developments in the fields of education, technology, infrastructure, and research and development. As part of the plan, the organization will establish 10 more KKL-JNF Houses for Excellence in northern and southern Israel, following the incredibly successful launch of the first center in Upper Nazareth in 2018. These centers provide free complementary education programs for local high-school students in core subjects relevant to the fields of the future.
Additional initiatives include the establishment of research and development centers in cooperation with local authorities and government ministries, developing hi-tech centers with startup and IT companies to bring new jobs to the region, and providing scholarships to students studying in the periphery in the technological fields.
KKL-JNF World Chairman Daniel Atar called on KKL and JNF leaders from around Europe to join the organization on this journey, saying, “Since the establishment of the state of Israel, never has there been such a transformational and life-changing plan like KKL-JNF 2040 – together we can create a new and even more thriving Israel for Jewish people everywhere!”