Nov. 29, 2017
The Israeli Government and the Jewish People – Emily Amrousi (Israel Hayom)
Step outside the disputed Western Wall prayer space and you’ll see that the State of Israel has never been more closely connected to the Jewish people at large than today.
Israel’s Declaration of Independence mentions the “Jewish nation” 11 times. For the first time in modern history, Jews in Israel feel responsible for the fate of Jews in the Diaspora. Until a few years ago, the situation was reversed.
Two years ago, Israel gave 4 million shekels to help the Jewish refugees of the civil war in Ukraine. Israel sent rescue teams to Houston after Hurricane Harvey, and gave the Jewish community in the city $1 million for their immediate needs.
Israel invests 200 million shekels annually in the Diaspora Affairs Ministry, which serves as a policy office for the Jewish people. Other government ministries are also partners in projects abroad. The sum of investment in world Jewry runs to half a billion shekels every year – more than twice the amount of a decade ago.
The joint initiatives include investing in Jewish schools across the globe (shipping textbooks, teacher training), Israeli funds for summer camps for Jewish youth, the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project, and the Masa and Taglit-Birthright programs, in which the state invests around NIS 340 million every year, that have brought more than half a million young Jews to visit Israel over the past 18 years.