President Reuven Rivlin addressed over 300 guests at the I BELONG ISRAEL 3rd Annual Conference – “Initiating Change” held at the Mishkenot Sha’ananim Conference Center in Jerusalem.
The Conference was moderated by veteran journalist Kobi Meidan of Israel Educational Television, and explored the concepts of Jewish, Zionist, and Israeli identity and how they are conveyed to Israeli youth today. The President said, “It is our duty to strengthen the values of Zionism and Judaism among our youth and in Israeli society at large.” The President reminisced about his high school days and said that experiential journeys are the best way to learn, “Even back when I was in high school we learned about the country through travel and experience – hiking throughout Israel in places such as Tel-Hai, Gush Etzion, Eilat and Muchraka.”
Other featured speakers included Gen. (Res.) Eliezar Shkedi, Dr. Gadi Taub, Israeli historian, journalist and writer, Israel Hasson, CEO of the Israel Antiquities Authority, former Commander and Chief of the Israel Air force and I BELONG ISRAEL Board Member, and Professor Gadi Yair, Director, NCJW Research Center for Innovation in Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who studied the effect of the I BELONG ISRAEL journey on the formation of Jewish identity among former participants.
An Honorary Fellow Award was presented to Eli Shaish, the Director of Field Training and Societal Studies at the Ministry of Education.