The Issues Facing Israel Today
Aliyah and Rescue
For more than 65 years, Israel and its partners have kept an unwavering promise to the Jewish people to bring any Jew, from anywhere in the world, to safety in Israel.
Recently, there has been a resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe and now in the United States. When anti-Jewish hate fills the air, often the media, and many politicians and other public figures sometimes deny its existence–or blame it on the actions of Israel or Jews themselves. As anti-Semitic threats and actions reverberate, what should be our role in protecting the global Jewish community and ensuring that anti-Semitism is recognized as a hate-crime?
Education and Identity
There is a strong correlation between Jewish identity and Israeli nationality especially since large portions of the Jewish Israeli population no longer view Jewish identity as being exclusively defined by being born to a Jewish mother. Jewish identity comprises the past, present and future. Israel cannot build its future without being faithful to and seeking to instill the basic educational principles that have accompanied us for over 3,000 years.
In the past twenty years, Israel-diaspora relations have moved from periodic meetings among a few major leaders from around the world to a multi-dimensional relationship involving of continuing ties both public and private, on all levels of Jewish activity. Where Israel and the diaspora were once viewed as separate entities with limited and only occasional connections, today activists of all kinds and at all levels of leadership, including the top leadership as well as local, are increasingly linked to and interact with one another. With this change in relationship, how do we envision the future relations between Israel and the world Jewish community? What is the proper role of each in this relationship?
Israeli Civil Society
Society should treat individuals, despite their backgrounds, beliefs or religion, should be treated equally and afford them the same opportunities. It is essential that civil and human rights for all; that the essential pluralism of Israeli society be recognized and reinforced the essential pluralism of Israeli society; and, that groups on the economic margins of Israeli society be empowered.
Justice and Tolerance
Israel is constantly being praised for its efforts to safeguard the right to free practice of religion, conscience, and belief for all faiths; it has preserved, restored, and funded Christian, Muslim and Jewish holy sites and places of worship. Did you know that Israel is a safe haven for religiously persecuted minorities from surrounding countries that restrict the open practice of religion and who oppress those considered heretical or apostates?
Is Birthright the answer? Quantity of participants is important but numbers alone will not create a positive and lasting impact on future generations. Success in this Jewish battle demands dedication, commitment, study, prayer, vision, courage, ideals, hope. How may we strengthen Jewish identity, thereby ensuring Jewish continuity?
Peace and Security
If Palestinians were to lay down their guns tomorrow, there would be no war. If Israel were to lay down its arms, there would be no Israel. Israel is constantly trying to exist in a peaceful state of safety and security for its citizens and residents. Is the solution to peace and security a democratic, Jewish state living side-by-side with a viable, independent Palestinian state? How far can Israel go in defending itself?