Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Grapevine: Union Jacks over Ra’anana

Greer Fay Cashman, jpost.com

Lauder image from
MOMENTARILY BREAKING off his speech on Tuesday night in the midst of spontaneous applause, World Jewish Congress president Ronald Lauder said that he wasn’t used to Jewish audiences applauding him to such an extent. The Christian audiences applaud, he said, but not the Jews. Lauder, who was delivering the Distinguished Rennert Lecture at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem after having been presented with the Twentieth Anniversary Guardian of Zion Award by the Ingeborg Rennert Center of the Faculty of Jewish Studies at Bar-Ilan University, was applauded several times during his speech.
The audience was most enthusiastic when Lauder shared information about some of the current WJC activities that he supports and in some cases instigated. Incidentally, he donated his $100,000 prize money to the WJC. The WJC has created a Jewish Diplomatic Corps, which currently has 250 envoys from different countries, but Lauder wants to increase the number to 1,000, with representatives from every country in which there is a Jewish community. The corps comprises young people in the 25-45 age bracket who have all been trained to act as emissaries for the Jewish people in their home countries. Lauder has worked with them personally and views them as a great source of pride.
In addition, he supports Law Fare, which is made up of young Jewish lawyers who fight BDS in courts around the world.
Impatient with Israel’s foot-dragging over a proper hasbara (public diplomacy) ministry, which he has been advocating for years, Lauder created a hasbara section in the WJC’s operations in the US. “Jews practically invented PR. There is absolutely no reason for us not to have great PR.” The plan is to bring together the best people from the top agencies to ensure that the enemies of Israel and the Jewish people “will not define who we are.”
And it doesn’t end there. Lauder also wants to establish a Jewish peace corps that will send young Jewish volunteers from Israel and the Diaspora to Jewish communities around the world to help boost Jewish identity and to put them more in touch with their own Jewishness. ...

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