Beit Hatfutsot’s annual international Board of Governors event- September 25, 2010

Beit Hatfutsot’s Fifth Annual International Board of Governor’s events opened with a festive reception at the home of Brig.Gen. (res.) Eitan Ben-Eliahu and Ravit Tarlovsky on Saturday night, September 25th, 2010, that was attended by over 150 supporters included International Board member from Israel and abroad, activists, donors, and leading Israeli business leaders. This event highlighted the achievements at Beit Hatfutsot over the past year, and the rebuilding of a new Museum of the Jewish People.

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On Sunday, the International Board of Governors met to review and discuss the new museum and the changes that will be taking place in the coming months. The meeting began with a tour of the construction site of Beit Hatfutsot’s new Family Gallery, including an explanation of the first exhibition for the Family Gallery – A-B-SEE-Do, an interactive, hands-on activity that will bring the Hebrew language to life.

After the tour, a short film on Beit Hatfutsot’s current activities was presented by Avinoam Armoni, CEO Beit Hatfutsot. He then discussed the renovations that are underway in order to continue to attract visitors while the permanent exhibition is closed. These include the construction and renovation of the Family Gallery, classrooms, lobby level, donor wall, and gift shop.

The Chairman of the International Board of Governors, Leonid Nevzlin, discussed the new overall philosophy of the museum as a platform for pluralistic dialogue to attract young people and strengthen Jews’ connection to our heritage and Israel, while calling on the members of the Board to use their experience to help realize the goals of Beit Hatfutsot.

This was followed by an exercise in Jewish Peoplehood, conducted by Shelly Kedar, Director of the International School of Jewish Peoplehood Studies in which a piece of yarn was passed around joining one participant with another while each person discussed their personal connection to Judaism and the Jewish people. At the end of this exercise, the yarn created a “web” of Jewish experiences, linking all the participants.

Once this exercise concluded, the participants split into three separate tracks to discuss topics relevant to rebuilding the museum. These tracks covered Strategy and Implementation of Resource Development, Meeting the Challenge of Beit Hatfutsot – Instilling a sense of pride and belonging in the younger generation; and the Online Museum and Digital Database. Within these tracks, they discussed a number of ways to help Beit Hatfutsot lead a new decade of Jewish consciousness around the world.

The meetings ended with a summary of the discussions and keynote speech by Israel Defense Forces Chief Education Officer, Brig. Gen. Eli Schermeister.