Australian graduate Jarryd Kleviansky, (23) from Perth, is one of the six full time employees who have organized the star studded Presidential Conference taking place in Jerusalem this week also marking President Shimon Peres’ 90th birthday.
The Conference running June 18th – 20th at the International Conference Center, the biggest venue in the capital is being attended by political big hitters Bill Clinton and Tony Blair as well as guests from the world of entertainment such as Barbara Streisand, Robert De Niro and actress Sharon Stone who will be joining President Peres on stage for a one-to-one conversation about their lives.
Among the Israeli guests headlining the Conference are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Chairman of the Jewish Agency, Natan Sharansky,Finance Minister Yair Lapid., Outgoing Head of the Bank of Israel Stanley Fischer as well a host of singers and entertainers. Around five thousand people are registered to attend.
Jarryd is one of 21 Diaspora graduates accepted this year to the elite Israel Government Fellows program which screens suitable candidates aged 22-30 for professional work experience in key ministries, government authorities and projects. He also takes part in an educational program also engages fellows with the myriad social and political challenges the country faces.
IGF is run by Jerusalem’s Menachem Begin Heritage Centre, and brings to life Begin’s vision to connect Diaspora communities with Israel at every level of society. Most fellows join the program after graduating college or following a few years gaining experience in their field. Jarryd graduated the Edith Cowan University with a Bachelor Degree in Management of Human Resources and Management of Information System.
He said: “It’s been an incredible experience. Although the year started off slowly with some rudimentary work researching and slowly finalizing the line-up of speakers, the adrenalin started racing after the invitations were sent out with acceptances started coming back daily. By the days leading up to the conference it was extremely exciting to see everything come together and how great it all looked.”
In total there are 15 members of the committee chaired by former Cabinet Secretary, Israel Maimon and including trusted Peres advisor, Ambassador Avi Gill.. Aside from the six full time staff, there are ten committee advisors with Jarryd the only non-Israeli on the team.
His work has been in building the content of the Conference, researching and liaising with potential panel members and speakers, as well as planning plenaries and master classes and ensuring all information connected with the Conference is kept up-to-date and accurate. As the Conference drew closer, he was also a part of the invitees committee responsible for putting together invitations and managing the VIP guests of the Conference.
The Conference theme is ‘tomorrow’ and is accompanied by an exhibition about the human brain with contributions from top scientists.
During the Conference itself Jarryd’s roles include ensuring things run to time, all of the speakers are happy, coordinating pre panel discussions and dealing with last minute changes and emergencies.
“I am looking forward to meeting all the esteemed guests, networking a little if time allows it and seeing how all the hard work has paid off. I’m also looking forward to attending President Peres’s 90th Birthday Event and other celebratory events happening during the Conference.”
Among the 181 speakers at the Conference, Australia is represented by Dr. Danny Lamm, President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry who will take part in a round table discussion about Israel’s Jewish identity and Phillip Chester, President of the Zionist Federation in Australia will take part in a panel debate about the 20% of Jews who live outside Israel and the United States.
As a Government Fellow, Jarryd is mentored by Daniel Greenberg, Content Committee Coordinator at the Conference. He said: “The close relationship has helped me settle in and feel a part of the team. Language has sometimes been a bit of an obstacle being the only non-Israeli on the team, however the Conference has been accommodating in having as many meetings as possible in English.” Also working with Jarryd on the Content is former Australian, Rachael Risby-Raz, who served as Diaspora Affairs to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
Following the IGF program and in June, Jarryd plans to return to Australia to start an MA in Project Management. He added: “This experience has been excellent for my professional development; I’ve learned how an Israeli workplace functions as well as picking up some useful diplomatic skills needed when corresponding with different cultures and professions.
Paul Gross, Israel Government Fellows Director said: “Jarryd has an exciting and unique role with the President’s Conference. His contribution is valued by the team he works with. He, along with the other fellows featured in the film illustrates the high calibre of fellows on the program.”