Gov't ministry to strengthen worldwide Jewish ties

Connecting Jews in Israel and the Diaspora is the aim of a new campaign launched by the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs.

Hillel Fendel ,

Diaspora Affairs Ministry

Connecting Israeli Jews to Jewish communities in the Diaspora – this is the aim of a new campaign launched by the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs.

The driving force of the new project stems from the understanding that Israel is committed not only to its own future and prosperity, but to the future and prosperity of Jews wherever they live.

In this vein, Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett quotes the Rabbinic adage, "All Jews are responsible one for another."

In addition, Israel's ties with Jews in the Diaspora are a "strategic asset for both Israel and the Jewish nation," says the Ministry's Director-General Dvir Kahane. "To this end, the Ministry carries out many projects to strengthen these ties and the mutual responsibility between the Jews of Israel and those in the Diaspora – both ways."

For Israelis, Kahane says, "the purpose is to enhance their knowledge and responsibility for Jews abroad, and to urge them to get involved."

One feature of the new campaign is to have Jews from abroad video themselves as they talk about their Jewish lives and their connection to Israel. Sample videos have already been posted on the Diaspora Affairs Ministry site.

Minister Bennett explained that in order to overcome the obstacles of security threats, assimilation, anti-Semitism, and Israeli disconnection with Diaspora Jews, "we have three guidelines. The first is Partnership, in that we do everything together with Jewish leaders and organizations abroad. Number two is Jewish Continuity – we seek to connect young Jews to their Jewish identity and to Israel by answering the questions, 'Why be a Jew?' and 'Why Israel?'"

"And third," Bennett said, "is the 'Two-Way Street' – Jewish communities and individuals from both Israel and abroad are responsible for each other."