The Challenge of Connecting to American Jewry

We reported Sunday on the new partnership agreement signed between the Jewish Agency and Nefesh B’Nefesh dealing with Aliyah from North America.

Writing in today’s Jerusalem Post, an analysis on what this does, and does not, mean from their Jewish world correspondent, Haviv Rettig:

Analysis: Making aliya the American way

It would be a mistake to view the agreement announced on Sunday between the Jewish Agency and Nefesh B’Nefesh to cede aliya promotion in North America to the smaller organization as a mere logistical arrangement, as Jewish Agency spokespeople have claimed in recent days.

Nor is the Jewish Agency’s ceding ground in itself a history-changing event, as Nefesh B’Nefesh officials believe.

Even so, Sunday’s announcement was a momentous one. It amounted to a recognition by the Jewish Agency that the Jewish world has changed. The agency has come to recognize that the spectacularly successful tools it has developed over some eight decades, during which it brought over three million Jews to Israel, do not work in the United States.