Proposed: A New Global Engagement Strategy

Gary Rosenblatt writing in The Jewish Week:

Putting ‘Tikkun Olam’ To The Ultimate Test

Bold new project is challenging Israel and the diaspora to transform themselves and the world.

A century after the publication of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” the anti-Semitic Russian hoax claiming Jews were seeking to take over the world, a small group of Israeli and American Jews – think of them as The Youngers of Zion – has spent the last 18 months formulating what it calls “an audacious plan” to repair the world.

The proposal, framed by the Reut Institute, a Tel Aviv-based think tank, and the Alliance for Global Good, an American nonprofit organization, is called “21st Century Tikkun Olam.” It’s nothing less than a global engagement strategy for the State of Israel and the Jewish diaspora – a total of about 14 million people – to dramatically improve the lives of at least 250 million people in the next decade.

The primary purpose, the planners say, is simply to fulfill the core Jewish value of improving the world by addressing human suffering. But its other benefits include strengthening the bonds between Israel and the diaspora, and enhancing Israel’s standing in the international community.

After meeting with and interviewing more than 150 thought leaders and activists over the last year and a half, the planners convened a roundtable discussion last month in New York. The goal was to present their ideas to two dozen Jewish professional and lay leaders, some of whose organizations were potential partners, and to elicit their reactions and gauge their responses.

As one of the participants, I would say we were, as a group, very much impressed with the concept, and excited by its bold reach…

“No one here would argue with your vision,” one Jewish professional said before noting how difficult it is to get American Jewish organizations to work together, much less to coordinate a major sustained effort that would include the government of Israel, and American Jewish organizations, philanthropies, businesses and entrepreneurs.

You can read the complete article, Putting ‘Tikkun Olam’ To The Ultimate Test, on The Jewish Week.