Annual Assessments

2020 Annual Assessment

Situation and Dynamics of the Jewish People

Annual Assessment

תש”פ | 2020


Project Head

Shmuel Rosner


Avinoam Bar-Yosef, Dan Feferman, Shlomo Fischer, Avi Gil,
Inbal Hakman, Michael Herzog, Gitit Levy-Paz, Dov Maimon, Steven Popper, Uzi Rebhun, John Ruskay, Adar Schiber, Noah Slepkov, Shalom Salomon Wald


Barry Geltman
Rami Tal

2020 Annual Assessment

  1. Recommendations to the Government of Israel

    1. Establish an integrative body dedicated to combatting anti-Semitism. The significant increase of anti-Semitism in Europe and the United States is a leapfrog phenomenon that reflects, among other things, the dissipation of the effect of the Holocaust on collective consciousness. It requires the Israeli government and major Jewish organizations worldwide to act at another order of effort as well as to adopt newer ways of thinking and modes of discourse than those of past decades. It is recommended that the Israeli government deal with anti-Semitism with an integrative body that has the authority and capability to carry out the task.
    2. Create special programs for professions in high demand in Israel. The fact that 41 percent of European Jews aged 16-34 are considering leaving their countries – and 67 percent of this group are contemplating emigration to Israel – should not be regarded with indifference. If Israel were able to provide tailor-made, attractive Aliyah programs, tens of thousands of European Jews might relocate to Israel. Structured employment programs should be launched similar to those designed in the past for engineers and physicians from the FSU. 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.
  2. Recommendations to Communal Leaders

    1. Security training for young activists. Projects should be created for training Jewish youth who wish to take a share of responsibility for the security of their communities. Twenty years of successful experience in France and UK has shown that a large number of young people who had been Jewishly unaffiliated have shown interest in being engaged in communal security, turning a threat into an opportunity for bolstering Jewish identification. 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 and provided professional security services to local synagogues and JCCs.
    2. Interfaith programs. Hate crimes against synagogues, churches 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.
    3. Renew Black-Jewish alliances. Blacks and Jews have a long history of cooperation, dating back to the beginnings of the civil rights movement and beyond. Communal organizations should take advantage of the increased awareness of racism to develop grassroots partnerships in the spirit of the 1913 ADL’s mission to “stop the defamation of the Jewish people and secure justice and fair treatment for all.”
    4. Security. Watchfulness, forethought, and security action plans are fully justified under the current circumstances. At the same time, lay and religious leaders should take care that responses are consistent with the actual level of threat rather than presuming the worst. It is a fine line, but especially in America, Jews should refrain from taking measures that could be deleterious to the very bonds that have characterized their place in Jewish history.