Proposed Policy Guidelines for the National Institutions of the Jewish People (II)
Drafted by Avraham Burg, June 1995
Declaration of Principles
the strength and continued existence of the Jewish People is threatened by assimilation in the Diaspora and by estrangement from the Jewish People of parts of the Jewish community in Israel;
a comprehensive battle must be waged against all forms of ignorance, assimilation and alienation;
victory in this battle depends upon cooperation among all parts of the Jewish People;
Jewish-Zionist education must become the top priority of the Jewish People and its representatives, both in the Diaspora and in Israel. The national institutions of the Jewish People will give priority in their activities to the Jewish-Zionist education of one and a half million Jewish children in the Diaspora, and one and a half million Jewish children in Israel.
Enormous effort must be invested in encouraging Aliyah from both the East and the West. In order to ensure identification with Israel and Aliyah in the future, the Jewish communities of the Diaspora must be strengthened. Diaspora Jews must become more involved in building the society and the Land of Israel, developing frameworks, which will turn the State of Israel into a magnet for masses of Jews.
Unaffiliated Jews in the Diaspora must be encouraged to take part in Jewish-Zionist activity.
Creative and effective modes of communication between Jews in the Diaspora and in Israel must be developed.
The national institutions of the Jewish People must be restructured as a partnership between the Jews of Israel and the Jewish communities in the Diaspora.
Summary of Major Issues
Major Threats to the Jewish People
Threat to Physical Existence.
* Threat to communal existence due to the rise in antisemitism and
* Economic hardship.
* Threat to social cohesion and a sense of community. * The spiritual threat of assimilation in the Diaspora.
* The spiritual threat of weakened Jewish identity and alienation from Judaism in Israel.
* The dangers of a widening chasm between the Jews of Israel and the Jews of the Diaspora
Opportunities Open to the Jewish People.
* A decrease in the physical threat to the existence of the State ofIsrael.
* Possibilities of continued mass Aliyah to Israel.
* Growing communal awareness, concern and willingness to act in order to impart a new sense of meaning to Jewish life.
* The emergence of new young leadership in Jewish communal life.
* Growing willingness for change in Diaspora communities and Israeli society.
* Innovative and accessible technologies
Challenges Facing the National Institutions.
* To impart Jewish-Zionist education.
* To shape a new Jewish-Zionist identity in Israel.
* To strengthen the sense of community among Jews in Israel.
* To build a new partnership between the Jews in Israel and the Diaspora
Guidelines for a New Policy.
* Development of multi-faceted programs for formal and informal Jewish and Zionist education for use in Israel and the Diaspora; development of quality family programming.
* Creation of meaningful content for Israeli Jewishness through programming in schools; recognition of the validity of various modes of Judaism in the State of Israel; effective responses to the civil needs of immigrants in Israel and the depoliticization of religion.
* Creation of an equitable partnership between the Jews of the Diaspora and Israel in the management of Jewish national institutions.
* Negotiation with the Government of Israel regarding a new division of responsibilities between the government and the Jewish national institutions.
* Allocation of resources for programs in the Diaspora targeting unaffiliated Jews.
* Encouragement of visits to Israel in a broad range of frameworks.
* Involvement of Israelis residing abroad, including shlichim, academics on sabbatical, and Yordim, in Jewish education in the Diaspora.
* Emphasis in the Diaspora on activities sponsored by communal institutions and frameworks such as community centers, synagogues, college campuses, and summer camps.
* Ongoing involvement of Diaspora community leaders in decision-making
Projects for Consideration and Approval During 1995.
* Establishment of an Open University of the Jewish People in Jerusalem.
* Establishment of an Israeli United Fundraising Appeal.
* Establishment of a Jewish lobby in Israel within the framework of the Jewish National Institutions.
* Merger between the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization.
* Improvement of the public perception of the Jewish National Institutions.
* Establishment of an Authority for Returning Shlichim.
* Establishment of an information unit in charge of data collection, analysis and surveys affiliated with the Jewish Agency Executive
Projects for Discussion and Response.
* Establishment of "Keren Matat": A Fund for Future Generations.
* Ensuring a regular income for activities of the National Institutions of the Jewish People.
* Development of frameworks for training teachers and other educational personnel; promoting Jewish education as a preferred profession.
* A referendum of the Jewish People.
* Establishment of an umbrella organization for Jewish organizations.
* Establishment of a network of high-quality Jewish schools.
* Establishment of a Jewish Peace Corps which will emphasize the value of national service for the entire Jewish People, will create a joint corps of Jews from Israel and the Diaspora to serve in distressed Jewish communities, to rebuild, maintain and preserve sites and facilities of importance to the Jewish People throughout the world, to provide services to the elderly, the young and the infirm, and to engage in humanitarian activities, also among non-Jewish populations.
* Development of a satellite communications network for Jewish and Israeli culture.
* Participation in the development of centers of science and advanced technology in Israel.
* Participation in the creation of an advanced information infrastructure in Israel.
* Development of a broad range of computer-based educational programs, multimedia programs for individual study, the use of information highways as a tool for Jewish education, and interactive information banks specializing in Jewish-Zionist subjects.
* Establishment of a distribution system for books, software, radio and television programs about Jewish, Israeli and Zionist issues