This month’s JAFI Board meeting is particularly significant from two angles. First, even though it has been publicly and extensively discussed since last Fall, the continuing imbalance between the USD and NIS continues to wreck havoc not only on JAFI, but all non-profits operating in Israel and receiving overseas donations. Programs many of us hold dear, are either being eliminated or significantly re-structured to preserve cash.

The second major issue facing this meeting, is the new Diasopa – Israel relationship proposed in the last month or so by the Prime Minister’s office. As a result, we will bring you links to all relevant articles appearing in the Anglo-Israeli press.

all three from today’s Jerusalem Post:

Jewish Agency scrambles to balance budget in shadow of dollar crunch

“We expected a dollar value of 4.25 shekels,” Richie Pearlstone, chairman of the board, told board members on Sunday morning. “Now it’s hit 3.22 and risen to 3.4.”

New Diaspora plan ‘meaningless’ if unfunded

Diaspora leaders gathered in Jerusalem for the Jewish Agency Board of Governors meeting responded warmly on Sunday to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s announcement that Israel would begin to invest in Diaspora communities.

The basic idea – greater Israeli engagement with and funding for Diaspora Jewish education and identity – met with near-universal approval, though some questioned whether the new direction would enjoy the necessary funds and political stability to be viable.

Task force to probe Diaspora investment

A new Jewish Agency committee set to be established on Tuesday will be charged with developing a serious plan to reshape the connection between Israel and Diaspora Jews. The move marks a step forward from internal government discussions in March that addressed working on changing this relationship.

The Jewish Agency Board of Governors is expected to announce the new task force, called the “Committee for Strengthening the Connection to World Jewry” at a meeting in Jerusalem on Tuesday. It will be a joint Jewish Agency and government initiative.

More on this week’s JAFI Board meeting on yesterday’s posts, Immortality Does Not Apply To Organizations and Olmert @ JAFI.