The representatives are Jewish community leaders in their countries and represent the 250,000 WIZO members around the world.
The Enlarged General Meeting is held every four years in Israel to discuss the main issues that confront the Jewish people and Israeli society, and to define the policy of the movement, for the benefit of Israeli society, during the coming years.
During the EGM, elections will be held for the leadership of World WIZO, the president and chairperson of the organization and members of the Executive Committee.
The EGM will be held on January 15-19 at the Hilton Hotel in Tel Aviv under the banner, "Creating a New Tomorrow," and will discuss WIZO’s activities in the next decade for society in Israel,
The EGM sessions will be attended by President Shimon Peres, Minister for the Development of the Galilee and the Negev Silvan Shalom, Information and Diaspora Minister Yuli Edelstein, Opposition Chairwoman Tzipi Livni and other Knesset members, head of the Institute for Defense Major-General Amos Yadlin, head of the Foundation for Holocaust Survivors in Israel Major-General Elazar Stern, Ben-Gurion University President Prof. Rivka Carmi, Director-General of the Ideological Educational Department at Beit Berl Colette Avital, author Yochi Brandeis, Canadian Parliament Member Prof. Irwin Cotler, former Israeli Ambassador to the UN Dan Gillerman, and others.
The discussions will cover a wide range of subjects. including the image of Israel in the world and coping with the problem of de-legitimization, Israel-Diaspora relations, the status of women in Israeli society in light of the social issue involving the exclusion of women and gender inequality, ways of improving the state and economic resilience in Israel, and fundraising in an environment of an economic crisis.
Special attention will be paid to the status and image of Israel in the world and its importance to Judaism in the world, and their coping with Israeli PR.
'Clear message regarding status of women'
Within the framework of the events on January 15, a festive fashion show will be held featuring leading Israeli designers.
The conference will officially open on Monday, January 15, in the presence of President Shimon Peres and Vice Premier Silvan Shalom.
During the EGM, participants will visit WIZO projects and tourist attractions around the country.
At the end of the EGM, WIZO will publish its list of resolutions for implementation concerning the stand of the Jewish communities in the world towards Israel and the activities of WIZO for the needy in Israel. The EGM will conclude with a festive dinner on Thursday, January 16.
According to World WIZO President Helena Glaser, "The show of strength of WIZO is a clear message regarding the status of women in the Jewish and Zionist ethos.
"The events around the exclusion of women sharpen the challenge which we are facing in Jewish society for democracy and equality.
"WIZO, with the support of the Jewish communities around the world, will not allow women to be pushed aside in Israeli society, nor to hurt the character of that society."
Mrs. Tova Ben Dov, chairperson of World WIZO Executive, says: "The very arrival of hundreds of women, from all over the world, to Israel, reflects our unity and strength in anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish issues such as the exclusion of women.
"On a worldly level it reflects our power to cope with worrying phenomena such as the de-legitimization of Israel in the world. Only strong communities, which keep close contacts with the State of Israel can cope with the growing criticism against the Jewish people."
WIZO is the largest women’s volunteer movement in the world. It was founded in London in 1920 to lead changes to improve the society in Israel, placing emphasis on the advancement of the status of women, equality in education, family welfare and providing support for the needy population.