Southern Israel Comes Back to Life Thanks to the Jewish People

Children from southern Israel participate in a special summer camp run by The Jewish Agency for Israel's Fund for Victims of Terror. Photo credit: Sarah Bronson for The Jewish Agency for Israel.

By Rany Trainin At the conclusion of Simchat Torah, I had the opportunity to experience a truly moving event. More than one thousand people spanning four generations, all of them members and residents of Kibbutz Nahal Oz in the past and the present, gathered to celebrate the end of the kibbutz's sixtieth birthday year. As residents of the Gaza border region, the kibbutz members also took the opportunity to mark a return to normalcy after a turbulent and difficult summer. As Deputy Chairman of The Jewish Agency for Israel and a longtime resident of the region, I was overcome with emotion upon being asked to greet the gathering on behalf of the Jewish world. The event took place thanks to the support of The Jewish Agency and the entire Jewish people, whose contributions made the emotional and … [Read more...]

The Jewish Agency Appears Marginalized in Aliyah

The Jerusalem Post has obtained a draft copy of the proposed new aliyah initiative. This according to a just published article in the paper. The draft appears to confirm a number of items previously published in the media, organizational denials non-withstanding, including: The establishment of a new corporation to be owned jointly by the four “national institutions, ” Keren Hayesod, KKL-JNF, The Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization. The initiative would initially be funded by a grant from KKL-JNF for 100 million shekel. But the bombshell, now clearly spelled out by the JPost article, is: "Under the plan, the Ministry of Aliya and Immigrant Absorption would [have] four seats on an eight person steering committee that would oversee the new corporation. The Director General of the … [Read more...]

1,000 French High School Seniors Arrive in Israel

photo by Avi Dodi

1,000 high school students from 25 Jewish schools across France have arrived in Israel for Bac Bleu Blanc ("Seniors in Blue and White"), a weeklong program run by The Jewish Agency for Israel with the support of Keren Hayesod. Bac Bleu Blanc is the largest program run by the schools in France to bring Jewish teenagers on educational experiences in Israel. Every school takes an active part in crafting its own individual touring program. More than 8,600 high school students from 25 schools have come to Israel since the program was launched eleven years ago. During their visit to Israel, the students will tour the country, meet with Israeli peers, and visit educational programs, institutions of higher education, high tech companies, and other sites. … [Read more...]

My Parents Are My Heroes: Ethiopian-Israeli Teens Connect with Their Heritage

A group of children at the synagogue in Gondar; photo courtesy Michal Shmulovich/Times of Israel.

by Benjamin Rutland exclusive to eJP As the bus bumped along the unpaved roads of Northern Ethiopia, the varied sounds of Ethiopian pop, American R&B and an occasional Israeli classic blared from the smartphones of the participants. The soundtrack reflected the multi-layered identities of the 15 outstanding Ethiopian-Israeli teens who participated in a roots tour of Ethiopia during Hannukah this year. I had the privilege to join the group as a representative o f The Jewish Agency for Israel and Keren Hayesod in order to help document the experience. … [Read more...]

Out of Africa, and Back


A delegation of outstanding Ethiopian-Israeli high school students visited the country where their parents were born. Zahava remembered that the name she was given at birth was Aregitu (meaning roots) - Netanel filmed a movie of the school where his father studied - Daniel connected with a young child who is waiting to make Aliyah - Gila was touched by singing Hatikva in the Jewish cemetery at Wolleka - All of the participants returned more mature, valuing life, and feeling more connected to both their pasts and Israel. … [Read more...]

The Real Meaning of Collective Responsibility

Last week a resource development colleague of mine, Ron Allswang, received the following from a donor. I want to be clear that Ron was not soliciting the donor and the donor wrote to Ron: “Here is my question: why don’t I see any Israeli organizations making any effort to help raise funds for the people in the Five Towns, Bell Harbor, Seagate, etc? Why does the money only flow in one direction? Why are Israeli mishulachim still knocking on my door only a few days after the storm?” … [Read more...]

DG of the Prime Minister’s Office, Jewish Agency Meet on Diaspora Contributions


The Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office, Harel Locker met Tuesday with the Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency, Natan Sharansky and Director General of the Jewish Agency, Alan Hoffmann and was updated on the contributions of world Jewry during Operation Pillar of Defense. … [Read more...]

The Search for the Jewish Holy Grail: NextGen Leaders

talent pipeline

by Abigail Pickus Will the next Jewish leader please stand up?” Such was the title of a panel at the 2012 Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem that delved into the Holy Grail for every Jewish organization: the quest for the NextGen of Jewish leadership. “Before we stamp ‘failed!’ on their forehead, let’s check to see if we’re giving young Jews ways to connect or see if young Jewish leadership is going on under our noses that we have missed. It isn’t always about being affiliated. The question becomes: How do we lead in such an undefined milieu? By meeting the younger generation on their turf,” said panelist Johanna Arbib Pragia of Italy who serves as Chairperson Keren Hayesod-UIA World Board of Trustees. Justin Korda, Executive Director of the ROI Community, took this a step … [Read more...]