The Jewish Agency, once considered the bastion of efforts to encourage aliyah to Israel, is considering closing its Immigration and Absorption Department. The success of alternative projects such as Nefesh B'Nefesh (NBN) and Birthright (Taglit), the drop in the value of dollars donated by Americans and organizational reforms have taken their toll, sources told the Hebrew daily Haaretz.
Many American Jews want the Jewish Agency to concentrate more on education for youth, many of whom have lost a connection with Israel and with Judaism. On the other hand, most Americans who move to Israel are religious, reflecting a strong connection to Zionism.
The new plan, if put into operation, would cut but not eliminate the number of overseas Jewish Agency emissaries, but their aliyah activities would be sharply reduced.