Looking into the future

Looking into the future

Looking into the future (Leatid):

Twenty years ago when it was founded, Leatid Europe, as part of JDC, together with ECJC, brought to the table the debates about how to build a Jewish Europe despite the many differences.  The discussions were about how to bridge the gap between communities in the east and the west and how to act regionally and also how to reach out to those unaffiliated. There was a lot of excitement and enthusiasm. The motto was “we don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time”, in other words, Leatid became a great platform for all these debates and a place for learning and growth. This was before the widespread use of the internet, there was no Facebook, no low cost airlines, no single currency, and no smart phones.

Nonetheless, we were using faxes and telephones; the time was real time as in the expression “take your time”… Twenty years later we are living in a different Europe. Today we speak about times of “liquid modernity” (S. Bauman), in the midst of a deep financial crisis and with a surge of anti-Semitism in a way that has not been seen in Europe in the last 70 years.  We are in an era of globalization, migrations are affecting our youth and there is a war at the borders of the Eastern part of Europe. However, we have recently seen two positive and major trends in Europe: On one side, in post-communist Europe,  a lot of Jewish communities are flourishing with a vitality that everyone should be proud of. On the other, a lot of young people across Europe are involved in thriving local grassroots initiatives.  These endeavors prove that Jewish organizations can become very modern, attractive and can use concepts and technology from the XXI century.

We, as the team of Leatid, continue to strive towards our initial goal to serve European Jewish leaders (lay and professionals), to provide a valuable space to learn about new trends, to foster creativity, to engage and debate in a pluralistic way on what is Judaism in this Century, and also what will be the future of our organizations that in the end is also the future of our people. Happy 20 years!!!

 

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About Mario Izcovich

Director of Leatid

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