The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising: Seventy Years Later

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Seven Decades After Historic Jewish Resistance, The Jewish Agency and Claims Conference Will Convene Germany's Young Jewish Leaders at Iconic Locale to Explore their Community's Future

The 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising represents an opportunity for Europe's emerging Jewish leaders to grapple with who we are today as a people

To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, some 300 Jewish students and young adults from Germany will gather in Warsaw from October 31 to November 3 for the Fifth Annual Holocaust Education Summit held by The Jewish Agency for Israel.

Throughout the three-day conference, which is one of the largest annual gatherings of German Jewish young people and will take place in the heart of what was once the Warsaw Ghetto, participants will attend a series of workshops and vigorous discussions addressing core dilemmas relevant to today's German Jewish community and exploring aspects of the Holocaust from political, philosophical, and historical perspectives. A large majority of the attendees are alumni of Israel experience programs, including Taglit-Birthright Israel; Masa Israel Journey; Onward Israel; and WAHL, a unique Jewish Agency program tailored for German Jewish young people.

This is the fifth annual gathering of young German Jewish leaders, held in a different location each year and organized by The Jewish Agency with the support of the Claims Conference. The Jewish community in Germany has flourished in the last two decades following a wave of immigration from the former Soviet Union. The community has expanded tenfold since 1989, to some 250,000 members today. This dramatic growth, coupled with vast geographic dispersal across Germany, have presented a number of issues and challenges that distinguish this Jewish community from others in the Jewish world.

In recent years, The Jewish Agency has significantly expanded the size and scope of its efforts to engage the country’s widely-dispersed Jewish community, focusing on strengthening Jewish identity among teens, students, and young adults, and developing a new generation of Jewish communal leadership. These efforts include the creation of unique Israel experience programs, targeted follow-up programs for Taglit-Birthright Israel alumni, support for grassroots communal initiatives across Germany, and partnerships with a vast range of Jewish communities and organizations.

Leading scholars, activists, journalists, and government officials from both Germany and Israel will lead sessions at the Warsaw conference, which will also be attended by prominent German Jewish leaders. In addition to the sessions, the event will feature a communal Shabbat experience and a tour of the Jewish history of Warsaw.

"The 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising represents an opportunity for Europe's emerging Jewish leaders to grapple with who we are today as a people,” said Michael Yedovitzky, Director of The Jewish Agency for Israel's activities in Germany. “These young leaders are working to define where German and European Jewry fits within the broader framework of global Jewish peoplehood and how our collective past ought to inform our approach to the future."

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Joshua Berkman
Jewish Agency for Israel
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