The Jewish Agency’s recently publicized shift in priorities – putting Jewish identity building ahead of immigration to Israel – does not mean the agency is abandoning its traditional role, according to incoming director-general Alan Hoffmann. While slowly revising its agenda toward a stronger focus on educational programs and initiatives connecting world Jewry with Israel, the organization’s final goal ultimately remains to promote aliyah, he asserted.
“Even with the new paradigm, the Jewish Agency is creating aliyah,” Hoffmann, 64, said Monday in his first newspaper interview since taking over the position last week. “The aliyah of the future is aliyah of choice from the West. But aliyah of choice will only come about if you cultivate the tree. The question of picking the fruit from the tree is only the very last stage in the process,” added Hoffmann, who until last week headed the agency’s education department, explaining that the promotion of Jewish identity is likely to inspire immigration to Israel.