THE ON-LINE CONFERENCE
On May 8 2016 a very exotic teleconference took place at the Conference Center “Witek” in Kraków.
It was organized because of the forthcoming Israel Independence Day, and it happened thanks to the organization of the Socio-Cultural Association of Jews in Poland, Kraków branch (Towarzystwo Społeczno- Kulturalne Żydów w Polsce, Oddział Kraków), and thanks to the financial support of Israeli Jewish Congress, Tamar and Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. Why was it so exotic? Well, because the speakers of this teleconference were present only in their voices and minds, but not in their actual bodies. This type of bilocation was supported by the Internet – in other words, the lecturers were with us, but they were not next to us; they talked to us, we saw them, but they were fully present only in Israel and the USA. As an old-fashioned man (rather being a mentally old-fashioned man, instead of being an old-fashioned man in reality) it has been my first attendance to this kind of a meeting and I had a lot of trouble to understand this brave new world. I was astonished and I enjoyed it at the same time, just as a child who experiences its first train travel. Nevertheless, I have to admit that it is an interesting idea that is full of different possibilities, and it enables to conduct such conventions with people that cannot be fully present at an event.
English language has become Latin language of the 21st century, but still it seems that only a few people managed to comprehend this lingo in the past. Today it appears to be quite similarly, not many of us can openly boast about their abilities to speak in Hemnigway’s language. Alas, this specific inability is a huge barrier when it comes to international communication. Nevertheless, nothing is impossible to my dear friend Klaudia Klimek (a spiritus movens of this conference). If it is related to blue-white-blue colours then it’s always manageable to her to do something about it. So to make life easier for those who were sleeping well during English classes at school or for those who were absent at English classes, she provided all these people with an incredible help of an interpreter. In the corner of our conference room there were two stalls that were occupied by two lovely girls. Their sweet and soft voices vibrated in ears of those who helped themselves with interpreters’ headphones. The girls translated the whole lecture into Polish. All of the talking and interpreting was accompanied by an obviously splendid catering – for all the Jewish meetings cannot take place with only salt sticks to eat and some mineral water to drink. I’m stopping here, because I want all the readers’ smiles to fade away fast, there is this rather funny saying that when the body is hungry, the mind does not work properly; all knowledge needs is some calories! It might be funny, but at the same time let’s be honest it’s a very serious matter. Maybe this lore hides the key to the mysterious success of the Israeli nation? Putting all the lovely girls, all the delicacy away I will move on to the heart of the matter – the meeting was prepared from genuine ingredients and it tasted deliciously.
And now, here are few words about participants of the conference. First speaker was Olga Deutsh an alumna of Belgrade University and the University of Munich with a degree in banking business, insurance and finances. She is a scholar of Ford Motor Company at International and Public Matters at Columbia University in New York, New York. She is a 2008 prizewinner of International Leadership Prize of American Jewish Committee. Next speaker was Arsen Ostrovsky an international counselor of human rights and a good journalist. His writings have had been published in many play-off magazines and journals. His interests are in an Arabic-Israeli conflict, foreign policy of the Middle East, national security, international human rights policy, and issues concerning Jewish communities, diasporas and anti-Semitism. Currently, he is a head of research for the Israeli-Jewish Congress. Itamar Marcus a founder of Palestinian Media Watch, he is one of top authorities of Palestinian ideology and policy. Since 1999 he has been a spokesman in Israel-Palestinian Authority negotiations. He has been giving lectures at many conferences and universities around the world; moreover, he has been giving lectures for top officials of security in many countries. Also he provides CNN, Fox News, and BBC with his expert analyses. And last but not least, a surprise of the event -- Robert Yaronne a very funny and widely known presenter! He is an author of a bestselling book entitled The Genius of Jewish Celebrities: What Their Handwriting Reveals (2008). He is known for his predictions of the future, an expert on dreams interpretation, as well as an expert on predicting multimillion court verdicts. Yaronne is a lecturer at a university; he specializes in Jung’s psychology in particular.
The meeting was full of surprises, suspense and mixed emotions. Olga devoted her lecture to quite thorny financial issues and she presented a plethora of charts and tables that revealed how EU money are flowing to some various pro-Palestinian organizations, while all the listeners were figuring out why money for Polish Jewish community are blocked and they reach only management. Arsen talked about the multinational anti-Semitism that is developing rapidly, whereas Itamar “killed” us with anti-Israeli Palestinian programs. Yaronne analyzed signatures of eminent celebrants of Jewish origins. The last part served by Yaronne caused such an effect that an hour later during an unofficial part of the conference no one was brave enough to start writing anything of the sheer fear of being analyzed by other participants of the convention.
If I were to write that this meeting was full of didactic content and that it was an interesting experience, it would sound to many readers like a school review. And if I wrote that I gained a lot of new insight, you would think of me as an unfortunate schoolboy who is obliged to write a review of a boring book. But yes, all of this is naked truth…