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2018 Annual Assessment

There is no significant change from 2017 to 2018.
The positive and negative factors remain largely unchanged since last year. Leaving the needle close to “PROSPERING” accords most closely with current circumstances.
Regarding Israel, potentially problematic factors to watch include:

  • Israel lacks some 10-12,000 high-tech skilled employees.
  • Greater Investments in education and infrastructure are required to enhance long-term productivity and social inclusiveness.
  • Product markets need further reform to enhance competitiveness and productivity.

According to 2018 OECD reporting:

  • The Israeli economy is robust.
  • Income inequality has lessened, but economic disparities and lack of social cohesion persist.

“Israel’s economy continues to register remarkable macroeconomic and fiscal performance. Growth is strong and unemployment rates are low and falling. With low interest rates and stable prices, financial policy is prudent, and public debt is comparatively low and declining.
The international balance of trade is solid, thanks to a dynamic high-tech sector. The average standard of living is improving, mainly due to higher employment rates. Continued accommodative macro policies and planned investments in the offshore gas fields in the coming years will spur further growth. Against this backdrop, Israelis remain on average more satisfied with their lives than residents of most other countries.”

Regarding Diaspora Jewish communities, Jewish institutions and activities are weathering the transition to new patterns of giving. The rise of donor-designated funds and more proactive philanthropist involvement is leading to new initiatives as well as some problems for long-standing institutions. However, preliminary data from a JPPI research effort suggests that the institutions, such as synagogues, day schools, summer camps and Jewish Community Centers which help form the core determinants of Jewish identity may be under less stress than had been supposed by many. These subsist largely on funding generated from within the community and by donations and activity fees from those who use them. They seem to find adequate means in the absence of large philanthropic support.

Jewish communities are continuing to concentrate and play active roles in the most developed economies. They also continue an active involvement in the material development of Israel that began prior to the founding of the state. It is true that the level of giving, while still growing, is increasingly outstripped by Israel’s own economic growth. In recent years, Israel has begun to lend material support to Diaspora communities. Yet, a JPPI analysis shows that the importance of funding to Israeli education, basic research, health and social services, community services, religious and arts institutions is disproportionate. Many key elements enhancing the well-being of Israel’s citizens would be seriously affected if this important source of material support were to cease.

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