Strengthening Bonds Between Israelis and Diaspora Jews

from New Jersey Jewish News:

Jewish Agency reaches out to Israelis abroad

The Jewish Agency for Israel has been engaged primarily in reaching out to Diaspora Jews, but now it is also seeking to connect with Israelis living abroad by way of the Internet, and the Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey is joining that effort.

… Part of the effort is linking Israelis abroad with local Jewish federations. Previous attempts to make that connection have had mixed results. As one Israeli residing in Elizabeth – who asked not to be identified – told NJ Jewish News, “We aren’t used to deliberately connecting in a Jewish way – like with federation, or through synagogues. And we come here thinking it will just be a temporary thing, so we don’t look to get involved.”

The emigration of Israelis has always been a source of discomfort for Israelis and Diaspora Jews alike, although the movement of people from one Western-style democracy to another is hardly surprising in the age of globalization. Though many say they plan to return to Israel, their time overseas can stretch to many years.

Israeli and Diaspora Jews were historically reluctant to recognize the unique needs of the Israeli diaspora, but the new effort suggests that is changing.