Jewish Home party expanding its horizons
Jewish Home party expanding its horizonsFlash 90

The Jewish Home (Bayit Yehudi) party has announced the formation of a new English Speakers' Forum, to expand the party's outreach to Israel's sizable "Anglo" population.

The Forum, part of wider efforts to increase representation within the party from different sectors of Israeli society, was created with the goal of increasing activity in the party tackling western immigrant (olim) issues and expanding the number of party members and voters who speak English.

The Forum will be represented in the various party institutions, including Knesset faction meetings on relevant issues, and will be a factor in forming all party positions regarding immigration and absorption. It will also be an address for English-speaking Jewish Home supporters in the diaspora.

It will also assist MKs with English correspondence and conduct quarterly meetings with legislators on a wide range of topics with the purpose of forming position papers on key issues facing Israel's Anglo community. 

Olim from English-speaking countries tend to make aliyah out of choice and for more positive ideological reasons than those from less developed countries, who are often driven to move to Israel due to issues such as rampant anti-Semitism or economic woes. That is particularly true among the religious-Zionist sector, which represents Jewish Home's core support-base. 

"This is our way to help integrate these quality immigrants, who are here by choice, into Israeli society by addressing issues that are important to them," said Jewish Home's Director General Nir Orbach, and credited senior party official and Forum Chairman Jeremy Saltan with spearheading the initiative. 

According to Saltan - himself an immigrant from the US - the initiative is the logical step forward for the party, since "Bayit Yehudi is the natural home for Zionist immigrants."

"We are the only party in the Knesset that opposes a Palestinian State west of the Jordan River and protects Jewish sovereignty in Jerusalem.

"Just this week (party leader) Minister (Naftali) Bennett initiated the free shuttle bus program from the old train station through the City of David to the Western Wall," he noted.  

"This new Forum shows the importance the Bayit Yehudi places on English-speaking immigrants. We are the only party promoting accountability, transparency and representation to our voters."