Article Library / Annual Assessment

2019 Annual Assessment

1. Recommendations to the Government of Israel

  • A. Special programs for occupations in high demand in Israel. The figure of 38 percent of the Jews in Europe investigating leaving their country can’t leave us indifferent. As high-end employment is the main impediment to Aliyah of young professionals, this field requires our attention. Should Israel be able to provide tailor-made attractive Aliyah programs, dozens of thousands of European Jews could relocate in Israel. Structured employment programs should be launched similar to those designed in the past for engineers and physicians from the CIS. In coordination with Israeli employers interested in hiring their graduates, these programs would involve early identification in France and Belgium and initial training in Israel. Relevant occupations include researchers in selected fields, specialist physicians, engineers, investment consultants, and more.
  • Vocational guidance centers. In cities with large numbers of immigrants, it is advisable to establish vocational guidance centers that provide assessment, courses and training vouchers, and personal guidance and placement services. These centers should also be accessible to Aliyah candidates, prior to immigration.
  • Provide training for Israeli politicians on effective ways to address Diaspora communities in times of anti-Semitic and terror attacks. It is important to avoid making unhelpful remarks to Diaspora communities, such as “come home to Israel.” American Jews feel at home in the United States. Further, generalizations about “anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party should be avoided (it could become self-fulfilling prophecy), as should conflating legitimate criticism of Israeli policies with anti-Semitism.
  • Relationship with European countries ruled by far-right parties. We recommend adopting four guiding principles in combining political pragmatism with Jewish values:
    1. Zero-tolerance of Holocaust denial, historical revisionism, distortion of historical fact, diminution of the Holocaust, or trampling the memory of victims.
    2. Take a firm stance against any official anti-Semitic infringement on local Jews or attempts to grant legitimacy to anti-Semitic past leaders.
    3. Appreciate and nurture all national leaders friendly to Israel who respect principles (1) and (2).
    4. Encourage Eastern European countries to abandon the competition over victimhood status by declaring that all European nations – Jews and non-Jews – suffered at the hands of the Nazi past and communism.

2. Recommendations to Communal Leaders in North America

  • Security training for young activists in the United States. Projects should be investigated (in communities that demonstrate interest) to integrate local Jewish youth who wish to take responsibility for the security of their communities. Twenty years of successful experience in France and the UK has shown that a large number of young people who had been Jewishly unaffiliated took interest in being engaged in communal security. In France and the UK, turning a threat into an opportunity, well-funded youth organizations have been established to train these new activists in self-defense, crisis management, and coordinated intervention. The activities to be investigated include trans-regional training gatherings, crisis simulation shabatonim, visits to para-military and anti-terror centers in Israel (including gadna, kravmaga courses, and more). It is notable that at one point the French Youth Organization SPCJ included more than 15,000 male and female Jewish youth who met regularly on holidays for training sessions and provided professional security services to local synagogues and JCCs.
  • Interfaith programs. The mass killings in synagogues and mosques present the opportunity to build trust, long term relationships, dialogue programs, anti-hatred educational programs, mutual understanding programs for youth, and interfaith coalitions against racism and xenophobia.
  • Security. Watchfulness, forethought, and action plans for security are fully justified under the current circumstances. At the same time, the lay and religious leadership should take care that responses are consistent with the actual level of threat rather than presuming the worst. It is a fine line, but it would be ironic if North American Jews, fearing potential ostracism or isolation, took measures that might be deleterious to the very bonds that characterize their place in Jewish history and among Jewish communities around the world.

Previous
Next