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ROI for Brit delegate

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2007-07-11

Rachel Ingram

Rachel Ingram

Last week saw over 100 young Jews from across the world gather in Israel to take part in a summit to encourage innovation and networking between them.

The ROI Global Summit for Young Jewish Innovators took place in Jerusalem and among the participants was a Brit who is working as part of the team to develop the Jewish Community Centre for London.

Rachel Ingram, who is assistant director of the Clore Duffield Foundation joined with other Jews from a wide range of diverse communities including India, Argentina, USA and France.

SomethingJewish caught up with Ingram to find out more about the conference, what it was like attending and what she got out of it.

How did you first hear of the summit?
I was lucky to hear about it through a network of Foundations the Clore Duffield Foundation is involved with.

How long have you been involved in Clore Duffield Foundation?
I have been with the Foundation since April 2004.

What did you get out most from the summit?
To be in a room with 120 passionate, curious and entrepreneurial Jews was quite an experience! The energy and enthusiasm was infectious and participants were keen to discuss and share their ideas and advise each other on how to address problems and specific issues. The Summit itself was very slickly organised and the organisers made sure there was plenty of time to discuss our individual projects and interact with leading professionals in our chosen fields. I think most of us left the Summit feeling invigorated and ready to get projects in motion in their home communities. I certainly did.

How did it feel to be the only Brit there? 
It was a privilege to be at the Summit as the only Brit, but a shame that there was no one else to fly the flag and discuss ideas relating to issues back in London. It's certainly not for a lack of talent or vision in this country. Over the past couple of years I've met exceptional people creating innovative projects focusing on Jewish life. I think the word has yet to get out about this Summit in the UK- it's only in its second year. I think it's important to have more Brits involved - we're part of a global community and it's easy to become localised in the way we address issues. The Summit organisers were certainly interested to hear from British candidates - so I'd say go for it! I'd be more than happy to discuss it with anyone who wants to apply for next year.

Among those who took part, who impressed you?
There were so many! Seriously, everyone at this Summit was a 'doer' not a 'talker' and I was amazed by the results people had achieved - everything from campus activism for Darfur, lobbying for Agunot to new media start-up Jewtube - and just about every conceivable project in between. The communities represented were so diverse in size and outlook that I think participants were fascinated to compare notes and view their own initiatives from a global perspective. The tone of the conference was also very professional in both content and delivery.

From your experience of going to ROI, what information have you taken back that you feel you will use in your work life?
I wouldn't underestimate the strength of the network created by this Summit and I think partnerships will be created through this in the future - if they haven't been already. There were practical skills sessions with professionals which was specific to the non-profit sector which I found really useful. The most important lesson I learnt was if you have an idea, just do it! There were many participants who had got their ideas off the ground without funding or community backing - you don't need a consensus to get something going. I think we are still quite hung up on that here. The Summit was an eye-opening experience for me: focused content, inspiring participants and a genuinely professional forum for valuable Jewish initiatives!

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