The ICJW Rosita and Esteban de Herczeg Jerusalem Seminar for Jewish Education takes place in Israel every 4 years. The 2017 Seminar took place in Tel Aviv on May 14-17, 2017, with the theme: “Striving For the Highest: From Ideals to Reality in Israel” and the title “Jewish Wisdom & Women’s Perspectives Creating New Possibilities“.
The 2017 Herczeg Educational Seminar, organised by ICJW President Robyn Lenn OAM, brought together 70 women community leaders and activists from 14 countries to explore how Israeli society is grappling with issues of human rights, social justice and the environment.
The Seminar theme was striving towards the highest good – a value that is intrinsic to Judaism, and takes a characteristic form in shaping ideals that can transform the real world. The seminar explored the dynamic and fertile interaction between Judaism and women’s increasing contributions and perspectives, through lectures and workshops given by expert speakers, discussions and tours. Its purpose was to showcase examples of best practice that Jewish communities can learn from and share, particularly when defending Israel against critics in their own countries.
Groups of participants came from Switzerland, Poland, UK, Australia, South Africa, United States, Canada, Bulgaria, Georgia, Slovakia, Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, with delegates from the Israel Council of Women’s Organisations.
The seminar speakers included representatives from the women’s peace movement, Professor Rassem Khamaisi from the University of Haifa’s Jewish-Arab Center, refugee spokesman Mutasim Ali, migration lawyer Jean-Marc Liling, Levi Lauer from ATZUM, TAU’s Professor Daphna Hacker, Rabba Tamar Elad Applebaum from Kehilat Zion, Lilach Tzur from Turning the Tables, and representatives of the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The seminar ended with a performance of “Prayer of the Mothers” by singer and women’s rights campaigner Yael Deckelbaum.