92nd Street Y's international programs are central to its mission to promote individual and family development and participation in civic life within the context of Jewish values and American pluralism, and to reach out to people of diverse racial, religious, ethnic and economic backgrounds.
The Diplomatic Outreach and Roundtables Program provides a respectful, respected, open forum for dialogue and a place of learning where different nations, races, religions and ethnicities connect and exchange views. At six moderated, intimate, diplomatic roundtable dinners held each year, 92Y's leadership and invited guests, including some of the region's top business and political leaders, join ambassadors and consuls general for evenings of frank, off-the-record dialogue. Discussion topics have included the interests and needs of the locally-based international community, ways to showcase international talent at 92Y and perceptions of New York and world events. Since its inception in Fall 2001, we have hosted representatives of 68 different countries.
Diplomatic friends join us at 92nd Street Y's annual Street Festival, held each September on 16 blocks of Lexington Avenue. The festival features activities for families and children, information about 92Y programs and International Way, which showcases culture, products and tourism opportunities from a variety of countries. Eighteen diplomatic missions, consulates and their partners as well as international cultural organizations joined us for the 2008 festival. Since its inception in 2003, International Way has grown steadily in numbers and diversity, mirroring 92Y's increasingly broad global outreach.
92nd Street Y further demonstrates its identity as a global Jewish community and cultural center by bringing together 20 to 24 accomplished international community leaders each June for an intensive nonprofit leadership and management training program, the Ford Motor Company International Fellowship of 92nd Street Y. Participants are leaders in the NGO sector addressing issues whose resolution will have a significant positive impact on their communities, on their countries and, collectively, on the world.