A ceremony took place on Tuesday for the exchange of ministers within the Diaspora Affairs Ministry, attended by outgoing Minister Tzipi Hotovely and incoming Minister Omer Yankelevitch.
"I would like to congratulate incoming Minister Omer Yankelevitch," said Hotovely. "I was privileged to be the first religious minister and today I am pleased to see that there are more and more religious women in the government and at the front of the stage.”
"As Jewish women, we know that women have led great and important revolutions throughout history, and we are in a time of great changes in the Jewish world."
Hotovely continued, "We love and embrace our Jewish brothers wherever they are. We have built an important program to help communities following the coronavirus crisis, which has taken a heavy toll on human lives in many communities.”
"The State of Israel is the home of every Jew and at this time we need to prepare for major waves of Aliyah, as part of a government plan that we formulated in the Diaspora Affairs Ministry in cooperation with the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration. At this time, a broad government plan for the absorption of Aliyah is needed. The State of Israel needs to be prepared for waves of Aliyah.”
Yankelevitch said, “I assume the post of Diaspora Affairs Minister with great excitement and a sense of mission. Mission and Diaspora are an integral part of my life. My first acquaintance with Diaspora Jewry was at an early age, when my parents chose to go on a mission among Jews in the Soviet Union.”
“Later, during my teenage years, I again went on a mission abroad, teaching Hebrew and Judaism. These meetings made me think a lot about this connecting thread that runs through Jews from completely different backgrounds."
Yankelevitch continued, "We are currently experiencing a global crisis, the coronavirus pandemic presents us with a new and complex reality, many Jewish communities in the world have suffered heavy losses. Jewish institutions in the world are in danger of closure and the economic and moral situation is at a low.”
"But, with all the difficulty - this is also a great opportunity. An opportunity for the State of Israel to strengthen this invisible common thread, to lend a shoulder, to express our commitment to Diaspora Jews. This challenge should be an opportunity for change, momentum, global connection and Jewish solidarity, and with the help of God we will do it together."