Naftali Bennett
Naftali BennettPhoto: Hadas Parush/Flash 90

The Ministry of Diaspora Affairs is initiating a campaign on college campuses around the world to strengthen Jewish identity and connection to Israel among Jewish students,

The project, which will be undertaken by various Jewish campus groups with the help of a quarter-billion shekel investment, is set to be launched on hundreds of campuses worldwide.

The money is to be transferred to three groups in particular - "Hillel", "Olami", and Chabad, which currently provide up to 80% of the outreach activity available to the 500,000 Jewish students around the world. Chabad and "Olami" are Orthodox Jewish groups.

Within the framework of the project, set to be launched at the beginning of this coming school year, the activist organizations will work together for the first time, in order to heighten exposure and cooperation and planning, engaging students in seminars on Jewish values and activism for Israel's image.

Students will be able to take part in activities relating to Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath) and Jewish and Israeli holidays, such as Israel Independence Day. The program will be constituted of several levels; with each increasing level, students are exposed with increasing depth to matters of Jewish history and connection to Israel, with the highest level calling on students to take an active role in the organizations and to help recruit additional students.

The groups leading the project will work to give Jews on campuses deep and significant inspiration concerning ways they can be in touch with their Jewish identity and the State of Israel at a critical juncture in their lives.

The campus project has a budget of a quarter of a billion shekels, with a third funded by the government of Israel, and the rest by philanthropists and organizations.

Minister of Education and Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett lauded the project, noting that "for the first time since the founding of the State, Israel understands that it is not just the State of the citizens of Israel, but of all Jews the world over. Campus activism around the world is the true answer to anti-Semitism and delegitimization of Israel on campuses. We're talking about a fundamental and long-range process for dealing with these issues via Jewish students on campuses."

The Manager of the cooperative project, Amy Holtz, noted her excitement towards the launching of the project: "I am excited to launch the first project of "Mosaic United" - the cooperative initiative between the government of Israel and the Jewish Nation - with cooperation from "Hillel", Chabad and "Olami", three groups that work all year to connect with the Jewish campus community. I am confident that, with cooperative and concerted effort, we will be able to reach most of the students and build a strong, stable Jewish future."