New Knesset Caucus to Address Widening Gap between Israel and American Jews

Focused on deepening the understanding and relevance of the relationship with the American Jewish community, a new Israel-American Jewish Knesset Caucus will be inaugurated tomorrow. The Caucus will raise awareness among MK’s, Knesset committees and lobbies concerning agendas and priorities of Israel and the American Jewish community. With a Teleseker (TNS) poll sponsored by the Ruderman Family Foundation on January 19, 2012, showing a vast majority (87.5%) of Israelis believing that the American Jewish community is important to the future and security of the State of Israel, this new initiative is extremely timely.

The poll also found that 70.8% of Israelis think it important that legislators consider the Diaspora when deliberating on legislation like “Who is a Jew.”

MK Ronit Tirosh, Caucus Chairperson, launched the Caucus to ensure that this crucial relationship stays strong. “I came back from the Ruderman Fellows Program in the US last year with the understanding that Israel is in danger of losing one of its most critical strategic allies. As times change, and the US Jewish population becomes less engaged and less attached to Israel, the bedrock of traditional US support of Israel becomes less of a certainty too.” Tirosh was one of six MK’s to participate in the first Ruderman Fellows Program in 2011, which is designed to educate MK’s about the American Jewish community.

Expected to serve as a dynamic platform for open and candid conversation on relevant and controversial issues affecting the two communities, the new Caucus will become a central Knesset address for all issues related to the American Jewish community.