Israel recognizes role in fostering Diaspora identity

GAJE’s unyielding focus is helping achieve true affordability of Jewish education. As readers of this space know, we also occasionally share opinions and ideas regarding the unyielding significance of such education.

In this week’s update, we call attention to a recently published cri de coeur from Idan Roll, the deputy minister of foreign affairs of the State of Israel. Deputy Minister Roll wrote about the relations between the two families of the Jewish people: Israel and the Diaspora. His statement is important because it is “ex cathedra”, that is, conveyed with the authority of the Government of Israel and because it is substantively compelling.

Deputy Minister Roll wrote that “it is becoming increasingly apparent that a paradigm shift [in Israel- relations] is needed, one that emphasizes Jewish identity, partnership and mutual responsibility.”

The key nugget of the rich vein of this thoughts on the subject is that the entry to strong intra-Jewish relations is through a strong sense of Jewish identity. “A chief challenge that the Jewish Diaspora faces today is how to connect younger generations to their Jewish identity and Israel. I argue that these two are interconnected. A strong Jewish identity leads to a natural affinity toward Israel, and a deep connection to Israel creates a link to our people’s history and tradition and our current state of affairs.”

And then Deputy Minister Roll adds a thought that is a relatively new development in the thinking of official Israel. “Israel has a stake in the matter and should take a more active role in tackling this challenge.”

The success of Birthright Israel over the past decades opened many Israeli eyes to this vital Jewish symbiosis. Some years ago, Israel’s the Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, told The Canadian Jewish News that the most effective, most long-lasting assistance the Diaspora could offer the State of Israel was in raising Jews, ie, youngsters who would forever see themselves and lead their lives as Jews. Deputy Minister Roll adds a further layer of understanding to this plea: Israel has a stake in the matter and should take a more active role helping foster Jewish identity in Diaspora youth.

And of course, the incontrovertible truth about fostering Jewish identity is that Jewish education is the key.

Deputy Minister Roll’s article can be found at:

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As readers know, it is GAJE’s mission to help make Jewish education affordable to all families of the Jewish community in Ontario who wish it for their children. To that end, GAJE has launched an application in court to remedy the government’s unfair, unjust educational funding.

If you wish to contribute to funding GAJE’s lawsuit, please click here.

For further information, please contact Israel Mida at: imida1818@gmail.com

Charitable receipts for donations for income tax purposes will be issued by Mizrachi Canada. Your donations will be used for the sole purpose of underwriting the costs of the lawsuit.

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Shabbat shalom

Grassroots for Affordable Jewish Education (GAJE),

June 17, 2022

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