Our Common Destiny, A roadmap for the future of
the Jewish people
– – Reuven Rivlin, President of Israel
Our Common Destiny Seeks to Unite the Jewish World
by increasing mutual understanding between Jews living in Israel and the Diaspora while advancing
a common future for the Jewish people based on our shared values.
The foundational text of Our Common Destiny is the Declaration: a living document that embodies how we share common, deeply held Jewish values. These bedrock values transcend our individual religious practices, our national and cultural identities, and our politics. These values are timeless and help unite us globally as a people.
Crafting such a document is no easy task, especially given the challenges of the differing beliefs, perspectives and languages of the Jewish world. That is why we launched this initiative by recruiting a diverse group of renowned international Jewish scholars, thought leaders and activists to provide feedback on our initial attempt to draft such a document. We are grateful for their contributions to this complex task, as well as their wisdom and insights.
The first draft of the Declaration was presented by Our Common Destiny Scholars to the President of Israel in Jerusalem in September 2019.
Our Common Destiny is a joint initiative of Genesis Philanthropy Group and the State of Israel,
under the auspices of the President of Israel.
Illuminate: A Global Jewish Unity Event
Together with the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, Our Common Destiny held a series of events over the course of one week in December 2020 in Jerusalem, where the President of Israel along with high-ranking members of the government and our partner organizations from across the world came together to endorse the Declaration of Our Common Destiny. Participants in the events included Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister of Defense Benny Gantz, former Minster of Diaspora Omer Yankelevich, and Mayor of Jerusalem Moshe Leon.
The events celebrated the return of the Declaration to Jerusalem, after its journey around the world to hundreds of Jewish communities and conferences, in which the content of the document was presented and discussed.
During the events which marked a milestone for Israel-Diaspora relations, President Rivlin stated:
“I call upon all of our brothers and sisters in Israel and around the world to respond to this call for unity, for dialogue, for mutual responsibility…I call upon you to join us in this dialogue that’s based upon mutual respect, goodwill and the search for common ground and common destiny, to do good for the Jewish people and the whole world.”
To close out the week of events, Our Common Destiny hosted “Illuminate: A Global Jewish Unity Event,” which included a virtual celebration of the completion of the Declaration. This event, hosted by Golden Globe Nominee Shira Haas, included highlights of the speeches by government and organizational leaders from earlier in the week who participated in the celebration as well as a musical performance by Israeli singer-songwriter and musician Idan Raichel with Grammy Award Winner Jess Glynne in front of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. Watch the event recording here:
Today, we are working to develop new paths to deepen the dialogue around Jewish unity and build a stronger bridge between Israel and the Diaspora Jewish community. Stay Tuned!
Launching a Movement
At the request of the President of Israel, Our Common Destiny engaged hundreds of thousands of members of the Jewish community from around the world with the content of the Declaration and received input from over 130,000 people who shared what values from the Declaration inspire them. The findings of the public poll show that:
- The value of “Mutual Responsibility” ranks 2nd in Israel with 57% of the votes and 1st among Diaspora Jewry with 46% of the votes
- The value of “Strengthening Jewish identity” ranks 3rd in Israel with 51% of the votes and 2nd among Diaspora Jewry with 45% of the votes
- The value of “Security & well-being” ranks 1st in Israel and last among Diaspora Jewry
From the findings we learn that although the issue of the distancing between Israel and Diaspora Jewry persists, the value of mutual responsibility is still of high importance for both communities. In addition, we learn from the data that the Jewish communities in Israel and the Diaspora have similar values and goals that they wish to advance, and that there is much room for cooperation — as in the case of strengthening Jewish identity.
Furthermore, these findings also highlight that each community has different priorities that each merit attention, in order for us to properly celebrate the diversity of the Global Jewish community and all of our distinct needs. Our Common Destiny is working towards a future in which we can share these challenges and opportunities together. In an era where so many forces divide us, it is important that we strive to identify and promote the common ground that unites us.
The Our Common Destiny Forum took place in Jerusalem on September 9-11, 2019 and was attended by the Our Common Destiny Scholars who saw the culmination of their work presented to the President of the State of Israel, Mr. Reuven Rivlin on September 10, 2019. The presentation of this initial draft of the Declaration served as the official launch of this journey.
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Pledge to promote ‘global Jewish unity’ signed by Netanyahu, Gantz
Ilia Salita – 1967-2020
Ilia Salita was a beloved colleague of ours and a friend to many in Jewish communities all over the world. He was named as President and CEO of Genesis Philanthropy Group in 2014, and spearheaded its global activities from his office in New York. Under his leadership, GPG engaged and inspired young Jews around the world, strengthened Jewish communal life, supported Jewish culture and built bridges to ensure a robust Jewish future.
Ilia took a business-minded approach to philanthropy as he led a robust expansion of GPG’s agenda in North America, Israel and the former Soviet Union, while launching its efforts in Germany and the United Kingdom.
Thanks to Ilia, GPG has developed a comprehensive global portfolio which includes leading educational, as well as community-building, initiatives across many communities, large and small, around the globe, focused primarily, but not exclusively, on Russian-speaking Jews.
In 2019, Ilia spearheaded the development and launch of the Our Common Destiny Initiative.
Most importantly, Ilia was a kind, sensitive and intelligent person who loved life, respected all he met and for whom his family was the absolute highest priority.