The Jewish Agency: The Week That Is

“Zionism does not stand alone on the stage of perpetual renewal.”

So spoke Nancy Falchuk, Hadassah’s National President, as she called to order the opening session of the Assembly of the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI). With 486 official delegates in attendance, and an additional 100 or so observers, this advise and consent governing body of JAFI, has gathered in Jerusalem for its annual meeting. And as we herald in the decade of 10’s, we are about to witness a historic week as it relates to the future direction of the organization.

The next four days will be filled with discussion on the future of the Jewish People as seen through the lens of the Jewish Agency. By the time the meetings conclude, JAFI’s Board of Governors will likely approve a new strategic direction that will set the tone for where the organization directs its energy for the foreseeable future.

JAFI recognizes our world is evolving and looks to craft policies that will transform this historic organization to better meet the needs of our Jewish future. And, for whatever else one may say about them, this 80+ year old quasi-government institution is the only viable place where representatives of the Jewish world sit together at the same table with those representing Israel’s government. This alone is reason to hope they are successful.

In addressing the attendees, Israel’s popular President, Shimon Peres, told us, “I don’t know of any country that is less boring than Israel”. While it is doubtful this is ever so, this week, Jerusalem’s Inbal hotel will be anything but.

We’ll be back with some thoughts on the new plan. (In the meantime, the entire proposed document can be found here.)