Monday 19 September saw nearly 900 guests attend UJIA’s Annual Dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel, chaired by UJIA Trustee Lauren Fried.
The guest speaker was Alan Dershowitz, Emeritus Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, author and attorney as well as a passionate Israel advocate. He spoke about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement targeting Israel as well as growing extremism all over the world.
He urged the Diaspora community to stay strong in support of Israel during a time of flux and change, willing the community to use its political, moral, economic and academic power to speak out for Israel. “We must stand up for what is right and just... Giving charity is not a gift but an obligation, it is not a luxury it is a necessity.”
As the UK’s leading Israel charity UJIA also used the event to share its redefined vision –
Our Israel. Our Future. UJIA renewed its mission to better meet the needs of our community in the UK and the most vulnerable communities in Israel. UJIA will deliver this by developing confident, knowledgeable young Jews who are inspired by Israel and who grow into active members of our dynamic Jewish community; building a lifelong connection to Israel.
UJIA Chairman Bill Benjamin said;
We want our young people to be proud of Israel but if they are to advocate on her behalf then first we must give them the tools. By engaging young people with Israel, we strengthen their Jewish identity, we energise them and put them on the path towards playing greater roles in the community.
To bring a true taste of Israel guests were served a menu bursting with tastes and smells of Israel in a unique collaboration between caterer Tony Page and Yossi Elad, head chef of Machneyuda, Jerusalem and London’s The Palomar.
UJIA Chief Executive Michael Wegier commented;
UJIA is developing a dynamic, informed UK Jewish community inspired by and committed to the people of Israel. Alan Dershowitz is someone whose views you instinctively want to hear and he captivated the audience with his intellect and passion.