Around Our World

Stories making news in our Jewish world

from Haaretz:

Jewish Agency outsourcing aliyah marks end of ‘aliyah of no-choice’

A few minutes after 6 A.M. last Thursday, two groups of about 30 new immigrants each entered the small office of the Immigration Absorption Ministry, at the old terminal of Ben Gurion International Airport. The first was a group of British olim, who were brought to Israel by the independent aliyah organization Nefesh B’Nesfesh, and the second was of Ethiopian Falashmura, brought by the Jewish Agency.

This random encounter embodied the changing of the guard currently underway in the aliyah sector, whereby private organizations challenge the hitherto undisputed monopoly of the Jewish Agency, the semi-official body that has handled aliyah since the foundation of the state…

But at present, a strategic cooperation agreement is being drafted. It is facilitated by unrelenting pressure applied by American patrons and the financial difficulties of the Jewish Agency that prevent it from effectively operating in the continent. Apparently it is agreed that the Agency will focus on Jewish and Zionist education in these communities, whereas Nefesh B’Nefesh will be in charge of advocating aliyah.

from The Forward:

Too Many Geniuses and Not Enough Grunt Workers

Earlier this year a contest was held for the best idea for a book that would transform the way Jews think about themselves and Judaism…

Forget the question of whether we needed to commission a book to transform how Jews think about themselves…The bigger question is this: Why do we continue to shower even more grace, fame and riches on geniuses in our community?

from Haaretz:

Not everything is rotten

A month reporting on Israeli young people who are making a contribution to society has made it clear that in addition to a great deal of ad hoc initiatives by idealistic young people, many youths who do volunteer work are graduates of the socialist youth movements, members of religious Zionist groups that work in low-income areas, or students at pre-military academies. These three groups, which have formed over the past decade, are systematically motivating young people to take social action.

The wide variety of young people involved in social initiatives indicates that, although many think Israeli youth are interested only in advancing their own personal interests, there are actually many young people who devote their lives to contributing to society, whether as part of a community geared toward that purpose or as individuals. What is clearly different from the past is that while the state used to provide most of the social services, today the burden falls largely on the nonprofit organizations that are springing up like mushrooms after the rain.

from the London Jewish Chronicle:

JNF’s crisis deepens as head asks for new watchdog inquiry

Samuel Hayek, JNF UK’s new chairman, has this week written to the Charity Commission to inform it of his concerns over the running of the charity prior to his appointment earlier this year, the JC has learned.

image source: American Jewish World Services Presentation on the Genocide in Darfur