Israel 60th Birthday Peres Presidential Conference - Facing Tomorrow

By David Marcus
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem ----- May 7, 2008 ....... The idea could only have started with Israel President Shimon Peres, the man who has witnessed up close and person more historic events during Israel's first six decades of statehood than arguably any other person alive today, going back to 1948 when he was one of founding Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion closest, and youngest advisers.

Peres decided last year that it was not enough to review the Jewish state's achievements, challenges and milestones reflectively. Rather, the emphasis for Israel must be on looking forward. Thus was conceived the first annual Israel Presidential Conference, a three-day unparalleled assembly of some of the world's "best and brightest," including equally large representations of Presidents and Prime Ministers, current and past, and Nobel Laureates, to name but two special categories that will be fully represented at the gathering in Jerusalem, Israel from May 13 to May 15.

Thus was the flagship international event commemorating Israel's 60th Anniversary celebrations was born, with Israel President Shimon Peres hosting his premiere “Facing Tomorrow” Conference which will welcome many international leaders to Jerusalem including President George Bush. The Conference was initiated personally by Israel President Peres to address the three main “tomorrows:" the Israel tomorrow, the global tomorrow and the Jewish tomorrow.

Israel President Shimon Peres. One of Israel's founding fathers
and the catalyst for the first Israel President's Conference.

In attendance, in addition to many national presidents and heads of state will be dignitaries from the worlds of business and academia. Among them are Sergey Brin, founder of Google and Susan Decker of Yahoo. Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson will be serving as the honorary chairpersons for the Israel 60th Birthday Presidential Conference which has enthusiastically attracted the attention of Jewish leaders and others worldwide.

The entire cost of the Facing Tomorrow Israel Presidential Conference has been raised privately through a historic fundraising initiative chaired by Elliot Broidy, Chairman of Markstone Capital Partners and supported by a committee of two-dozen business people from across the international community.

US President George W. Bush will be a headline guest of the Facing Tomorrow conference, serving as keynote speaker at a celebratory dinner marking 60 years of Israel - American friendship. A multi-media gala event will pay tribute to the historic alliance between the two countries featuring entertainment acts from both countries and addresses by US President George W. Bush and Israel President Shimon Peres as well as Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Present and former presidents, prime ministers and senior officials from 27 countries will take part in the conference.

Jewish Nobel Prize winners will pool their brain power to offer insights at Facing Tomorrow about what tomorrow will look like. Key luminaries in economics, science, technology, medicine and philosophy will take part in the major plenary sessions, as well as in 35 panels that seek no lesser a goal than to help shape the face of tomorrow.

Facing Tomorrow will be a conference of focused exploration, a synergistic gathering of major world leaders, Jews and non-Jews, thinkers and doers, poets and physicists, rabbis and entrepreneurs, including the next generation of leadership - young men and women of exceptional promise and originality.

An event blog has been created for: Facing Tomorrow.

In addition to plenary meetings, working groups and a host of keynote speakers, 39 panels will span a broad spectrum of topics, from Economic Strategy as an Engine of Peace to Wrestling with Creation: Medical Ethics and New Discoveries in Research and Treatment; from The Jewish Self and Jewish Collective Identity in an Era of Multiple Identities to Constructing Dialog with Islam, New Roles for Religious and Cultural Leaders. Most panels, plenary meetings and keynote addresses will be simulcast on the World Wide Web.

Each “tomorrow” - Jewish, Israel, and world - will be examined through a set of four critical lenses: The value systems that are meant to guide our conduct, the leadership necessary to navigate the challenges ahead, the creativity required to embrace the new, and the notion of evolving, mutable, and sometimes multiple identities as we attempt to keep pace with a rapidly changing and digitally interconnected world.

Participants at the Israel Presidential Conference Facing Tomorrow will grapple with the forces and trends, global and local, that are redrawing the contours of the future. This, however, is only one aspect of the conference's work. Facing Tomorrow will also be a laboratory for practical initiatives intended to nurture the thriving of Israel, of the Jewish people, of humanity.

Across the millennia, the echoes of the Jewish biblical prophets have been heard, repeated, and often gone unheeded. Envisaging a just and peaceful tomorrow, they charted our thorny way forward, and gave us the moral armor for the journey. With great passion, they instructed us to explore and shape a better future, and continue to provide us with the inspiration and commitment to do so. In the spirit of the magnitude of the prophets' vision, and yet with all due humility, Facing Tomorrow will address the challenges and opportunities that await us.

Even well before the Israel 60th Birthday Presidential Conference, it is already nearly impossible to find an available hotel room in Jerusalem. Eight Israel hotels in Jerusalem have announced that they are at full capacity. Ben Gurion Airport is readying itself for non-stop arrivals as President's Conference guests from around the world stream in to Israel.

At Binyanei HaUma, the Israel President's conference site, employees are working non-stop to transform this Jerusalem, Israel convention center into a world-class venue for the various plenary and panel sessions. Hundreds of stewards and students will host the conference attendees, and the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs is preparing to welcome and assist the many world leaders.

The Israel Presidents Conference communications team includes 50 seasoned spokespeople and public relations professionals to serve the hundreds of journalists from Israel and abroad expected to cover this extraordinary event. A media center has been built at the convention site that can serve around 400 members of the media.

"This Conference is one of those rare larger than life assemblies, totally imbued not only with history and reflection, but with important insights into how we can create a better future for all mankind," said Charley J. Levine, the international media consultant to Facing Tomorrow and perhaps Israel's leading and most respected international PR professional.

"The global media will help convey these exciting discussions to every corner of the earth," said Levine. "There is something unique and deeply meaningful about this event, as very wise people from different walks of life resume the prophetic function that has been associated with Jerusalem, Israel for millennia - truly the word will be coming out of Jerusalem in May in a significant manner for the Jewish people and all humanity."

The Israel President's Conference has been identified by Israel President Shimon Peres as the ideal avenue to communicate Israel's many accomplishments to the international community. A major highlight of the three day event will be an extensive exhibition featuring 60 of Israel's leading companies whose innovations are seen as positively benefiting humanity in truly revolutionary ways.

The JPPPI, an independent think tank, supported in part by the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), is the organizational body responsible for the conference. Israel Maimon, Israel's former Cabinet Secretary is the Conference Chairman and Israel Ambassador Avi Gil is the Director of Conference Content.

"This Conference is one of those rare, larger than life assemblies, totally imbued not only with history and reflection, but with important insights into how we can create a better future for all mankind."

Charley J. Levine, the international media
consultant to Facing Tomorrow

Senior statesmen and world leaders scheduled to attend include Dr. Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State, Va'clav Havel, former President of the Czech Republic, Leonid Kuchma, former President of Ukraine, Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of the USSR, Wahid Abdurraham, former President of Indonesia and Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the UK.

Leaders in the fields of technology and the global economy include: Sergey Brin, founder of Google, Susan Decker, President of Yahoo!, Terry Semel, founder and former President of Yahoo!, Ratan Tata, Chairman of the Tata Group, Rupert Murdoch, Chariman of News Corporation, Susan Greenfield, British scientist, writer, broadcaster, and member of the House of Lords, Morris Levy - CEO of Publicis Corporation and Martin Sorel - CEO of the WPP Advertising Group.

In addition, seven Jewish Nobel Prize winners will take part in a special Israel 60th Birthday First President's Conference discussion grappling with the future of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Other Jewish intellectuals participating include Bernard-Henri Le'vy, Professor Alan Dershowitz and Professor Todd Gitlin.

The above Israel News Agency story was edited and optimized SEO for the Internet by Joel Leyden.


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