Tuesday, September 2, 2014


It is easy to speculate the outcomes that on-going cataclysmic events might have on the Jewish People. Amb. Yoram Ettinger has recently done so in a dramatic fashion:
"The window of opportunity for the arrival of 500,000 Olim, during the next five years, is wide open – temporarily - in Russia, Ukraine, Germany, France, England, Belgium, Holland, Hungary, Argentina and other countries. It is wide open due to the intensification of anti-Semitism; non-democratic trends and instability in Russia and Ukraine; the expansion of aggressive (and soon terrorist) Islam in Europe; Israel's relative economic edge; and the impressive Jewish/Zionist education infrastructure in the aforementioned countries, which have cultivated pro-Aliyah sentiments. Additional tailwind to Aliyah from Russia and Ukraine would be provided by a formal conversion of the 300,000 Olim from the USSR, whose children serve in Israel's Defense Forces, who are targeted by Palestinian terrorism, contribute immensely to Israel's well-being, consider themselves Jews and are recognized as Jews by Israel's Law of Return, but not by Israel's Rabbinate.  The temporary nature of this window of opportunity requires immediate action, lest it would be forfeited.

In order to raise the substantial required funds– which grow scarce due to the cost of the war in Gaza – Israel's Prime Minister should convene an emergency session of leading Jewish businessmen from the USA, Canada and Australia (which are also a source of substantial Aliyah), Russia, Britain, France, Germany, Panama, Brazil and Argentina, reclaiming Aliyah as a permanent, top moral and strategic priority of the Jewish people and the Jewish State, irrespective of circumstances.  The Prime Minister should present a pro-active Aliyah policy, which responds to the growing predicament of Jewish communities, while inducing a game-changing enhancement of Israel's infrastructures of economy, transportation, telecommunications, education, medicine, science, technology and national security, catapulting Israel's posture of deterrence to unprecedented heights. Moreover, Israel Development Corporation is able to significantly expand the sale of the highly competitive Israel Bonds to local and state governments, unions, financial institutions and individuals, raising billions of dollars for an historical, job-creating, research and development-enhancing, export-increasing and national security-upgrading initiative." (emphasis added) 

Ambassador Ettinger knows the global leadership of the Jewish People -- perhaps that is why he suggests that the Prime Minister be the convener of potential funders in the name of the State of Israel...perhaps. But, aside from the possibility of success of an effort led by the Prime Minister, think of the implications of such a direct outreach on our Continental institution and the federations themselves.

If such a concept were implemented, aside from causing a bunch of federation leaders to cry in pain, the very irrelevance of our Continental system would be more totally exposed than do the raw data which evidence, in the draconian decline of core allocations to our now "partners-in-name only," and would be the ultimate chickens coming home to roost. I can imagine the teeth-gnashing and, no doubt, "strong letters" to the Prime Minister asserting that the PM is somehow to blame for the destruction of our system -- for surely this couldn't possibly be our fault...never.

And, if you read Ettinger's piece you will also note that he omits the Jewish Agency altogether -- by his silence he is almost dismissive...totally. Is this the outcome of the decision, now months old, that makes JAFI just another vendor when it comes to aliyah, or is it by JAFI's own doing? Or is it something else?

Our own JFNA FRD abilities have been tested once again by the recent Terrorists' War and, the relative success of our effort, measured by a de minimis "goal" and an even more limited achievement, an inability to articulate the continuing trauma suffered by the Israeli People, an abandonment of the Jews of the Ukraine and a nonchalance approaching negligence about raising any funds themselves -- we have failed once again.

But we're used to that.


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