Shimon Peres, with Bnei Akiva Youth (Illustrative)
Shimon Peres, with Bnei Akiva Youth (Illustrative)Flash90

Against the backdrop of a growing wave of anti-Semitism throughout the world, the first event of its kind aimed at funneling support for Diaspora Jewry was held at the National Institutions Building in Jerusalem on Wednesday evening. The World Bnei Akiva movement (WBA), together with its Israeli branch, is embarking on a huge campaign to strengthen ties and activities with Diaspora Jews. Hundreds of activists came to volunteer for the campaign, with the slogan: "The time has come to act."

At the event, leaders of WBA and the Israeli branch called upon their members to go out in the field and raise resources for the movement's initiatives, which include strengthening Israeli society's commitment to Diaspora Jewry, helping Diaspora Jews move to Israel, sending emissaries abroad, running training programs in Israel and strengthening both the Jewish and Zionist identity of Diaspora Jews.

Attended Wednesday evening’s event was Israeli journalist Sivan Rahav Meir, who said: "Let us not talk about assimilation and other negative aspects regarding the situation Diaspora Jews find themselves in. Let us talk about what is true. A vital Jewish identity that is rich and full of content must be strengthened, and that by itself will increase their desire to be a part of it and to continue in that effort, each within his or her own family, environment and culture."

One of the highlights of the event was a joint declaration by all the activists of WBA and the Israeli branch who stood up and declared: "We are joining together for Diaspora Jews, our brothers."

WBA Secretary General, Roi Abecassis explained: "We, members of both movements who have been working separately for many years, are for the first time, joining together for the benefit of Diaspora Jewry. We presented here a detailed work plan aimed at strengthening and developing on all fronts whether it be absorption of new immigrants, programs for young people in Israel, emissary missions in remote communities, raising awareness in Israeli society and many other areas. The great tidings coming out of here are from the joint declaration of both movements uniting together, which is leading to action."

Yair Shachal, Secretary-General of the WBA Israel branch, added: "We WBA members in Israel must strengthen and demonstrate our awareness and commitment to every Jew and every Jewish community in the world. We must act in Israel and abroad in order to stir up the love and brotherhood between different groups among the Jewish people."