By: Dr. Shlomo Fischer, Dr. John Ruskay
The 2021 Dialogue process began in June 2021 and continued through February 2022, with most of the sessions having concluded by November 2021. The Dialogue comprised 16 sessions with 301 participants. The sessions were conducted in cooperation with communities and organizations in North America, Israel, and Melbourne, Australia with participants from those locations as well as the United Kingdom. The following North American Federations convened Dialogue sessions: New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Northern New Jersey, Vancouver, and Nova Scotia. These sessions included 138 participants. Thus, the Dialogue process incorporated some of the largest and some of the smallest Federations. Two sessions were conducted with the Jewish Community Council of Victoria in Melbourne (24 participants). Another two sessions were convened by the Jewish Education Project and included educators from across the United States (36 participants).
A younger population cohort participated through a number of frameworks designed for them, including 55 participants, most in their twenties and thirties, enrolled in the Masa Israel Teaching Fellows (MITF) program. Forty-eight Israeli students in a special course for outstanding education students at the Kibbutzim College for Education, Technology and the Arts in Tel Aviv, also mainly in their twenties and thirties, participated in two sessions. We also convened a session with the Columbia University Hillel (16 participants). Unlike in previous years, the majority of Dialogue participants were women, and 64% were under the age of 45.