NOAM Olami International Youth Leadership Seminar – Jerusalem, June 2010


NOAM Olami International Youth Leadership Seminar


To begin the process of building a world-wide network of Masorti/Conservative youth organizations, Masorti Olami organized the first world-wide seminar of representatives of NOAM (Noar Masorti – Masorti/Conservative Youth).

This week-long seminar took place in Jerusalem from June 13th to19th, with 12 representatives from Masorti/Conservative youth organizations in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, France, Israel, UK and the USA.

The seminar goals included:
•  To learn about various Masorti/Conservative youth organizations, what they have in common- strong shared values and practice- and where they differ from each other.
• To create significant personal bonds between leaders from various regions, providing the opportunity to create future partnerships as well as the exchange of experiences and ideas.
•  To determine the value and purpose of shared educational resources, parallel educational and social action programming and joint programming opportunities in Israel as well as to develop ideas for exchange opportunities for youth leaders.
The seminar involved a number of components:
•  Meeting representatives of Masorti/Conservative institutions and organizations from 18 countries around the world to learn about the challenges and successes of the world-wide Masorti movement.
•  Engaging in group building activities led by madrichim from NOAM Israel.
•  Spending significant time getting to know and building relationships with the representatives of Masorti/Conservative youth organizations from 7 different countries
•  Taking a part in the large Masorti/Conservative delegation to the 36th Zionist Congress, and helping to shape the future of Zionism and the Zionist agenda in the Jewish world
•  Participating in an intensive Shabbaton, with programming that focused on :
* How do we build the NOAM Olami network?
* Our role within the world-wide Masorti movement.
* The similarities and differences in the way our organizations operate.
* The shared values and goals of our organizations.
* Different models of Jewish leadership.
•  The use of Jerusalem as the back-drop for this seminar, including time to tour, explore and become familiar with Jerusalem.
•  Sharing Shabbat together in Jerusalem, offering the opportunity to share a spiritual and social experience.

The seminar successfully achieved the following:
•  A shared understanding of the need for an international unifying network of Masorti/Conservative youth organizations which can enhance the experience of the individual members leaders and the entire Conservative/Masorti movement.
•  A creation of significant bonds between the participants from seven different countries, with a shared drive to move forward in the building of the world-wide network.
•  A shared desire to create joint educational resources and programming for use in local meetings, and during Israel programs.

The participants of the seminar agreed that regional and international coordinators are needed to structure the development of the NOAM Olami network, and hope that another seminar later in the year will provide the opportunity to follow-up on shared tasks and further inter-personal relationships.