Annual Assessments

2017 Annual Assessment

Annual Assessment 2017

Dr. Shlomo Fischer

Avinoam Bar-Yosef, Chaya Ekstein, Dan Feferman, Matthew Gerson
Avi Gil, Inbal Hakman, Yossi Chen, Michael Herzog, Dov Maimon, Gitit Paz-Levi,
Steven Popper, Uzi Rebhun, Shmuel Rosner, John Ruskay, Noah Slepkov, Shalom Salomon Wald

Barry Geltman
Rami Tal

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2017 Annual Assessment

JPPI’s 2017 Conference on the Future of the Jewish People (Feb. 28 – March 1, 2017) assessed the social, political, economic, and ideological shifts taking place in the Western world that could influence the future of the Jewish people. In addition to identifying key trends and gauging their possible ramifications, the Conference framed policy dilemmas and formulated potential policy recommendations to help mitigate negative trends and leverage new opportunities. The following paper is a summary outlining the Conference’s main insights. (Since the shifts taking place in the West are surrounded by uncertainty, it must be noted that the possible avenues of influence are at times contradictory). As developments taking place within Israel itself affect the Western world’s approach to Israel and the Jewish people, this issue was discussed as well and its relevant trends are included in Part 2 of this report. Part 3 lays out a set of policy challenges and dilemmas generated in Conference discussions and offers decision makers some key policy recommendations. (This report was updated ahead of the publication of JPPI’s Annual Assessment for 2017).

Shifts in the West – Challenges and Dilemmas that Call for Policy Measures
in Israel and the Diaspora

Shifting trends in the West may have significant implications for Israel and the Jewish people. These developments require shaping policy measures to both mitigate potential negative effects and leverage new opportunities. Six main areas posing policy dilemmas and challenges to decision makers in Israel and Diaspora Jewish communities were identified in conference discussions:

  1. Formulating Israel’s policy vis-a-vis the Trump administration on diplomatic and ideological matters.
  2. Formulating policy with respect to far-right parties in Europe.
  3. Shaping a strategy in response to the changing world order and the rise of non-Western powers.
  4. Improving Israel-Diaspora relations in light of trends of polarization and alienation in the West.
  5. Taking steps to strengthen Diaspora Jewry given current trends challenging the centrality of communities and institutions.
  6. Monitoring illiberal internal Israeli trends and curbing initiatives negatively affecting the values and image of the Jewish state.