Jewish Agency Approves New Mission: Organization to Focus on Israeli, Diaspora Youth Relations

June 24, 2010
The Jewish Agency Board of Governors unanimously accepted a new, broader mission for the organization at their meeting in Jerusalem last week. The new strategic plan approved by the board of governors changed the agency’s mission statement to a 26 - word sentence: “Inspire Jews throughout the world to connect with their people, heritage and land, and empower them to build a thriving Jewish future and a strong Israel.”
The focus, officials say, has shifted from simply facilitating or encouraging aliya and donations to Israel, to a larger role as an education provider and a funder for large experience - centered programs such as trips to Israel, aid programs in the developing world and pro-Israel activism on college campuses.
The document approved by the board was a broad outline of the new mission focus. It will be followed by a much more detailed plan, including a budget and restructuring proposals, that will be presented to the next board of governors meeting slated to take place in Jerusalem in October.
Officials say that the new mission means the Jewish Agency would no longer focus exclusively on Israel, but would also concern itself with Jewish affiliation in the Diaspora. The agency’s new role as a facilitator of identity strengthening experiences is meant to strengthen the identification of Jews around the world with Israel and the Jewish world generally, and also includes education among Israelis about Diaspora Jewish life and culture.
Some concerns were raised that the new mission could mean less funding for aliya programs, but officials insisted the new focus on identity would translate into greater aliya, not less.
Updated: Jun. 27, 2010