This month, I’m pleased to start with some good news! Israel has scrapped its "red list" of countries where travel was considered high risk due to Covid-19, effectively reopening the border to travelers from the United States and around the world (Canadian travelers were welcomed back a few days earlier). It’s important to note, however, that Israel like much of the rest of the world is in the midst of a major spike in COVID cases which is expected to peak in the next few weeks and the country is scrambling to ensure essential services continue to function as the number of people quarantining grows. Regardless of what the future holds, former Director General of JFNA’s Israel office and current Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai urged the Israeli government not to limit world Jewry’s access to the country in this recent interview.
Plans are moving ahead for the close to 3,000 new immigrants from Ethiopia expected to start arriving shortly. Since the early 1950s, Jewish Federations have played a central role in the immigration of more than 97,000 Ethiopians through our partnership and support of The Jewish Agency for Israel. To support the special needs of this new Ethiopian Aliyah to Israel, Jewish Federations will seek to raise an additional $5 million.
Every community is invited to join in this historic effort. From initial discussions with Federation professionals, some are preparing to reach out to donors for whom this topic is close to their heart, others are considering allocating existing funds, while some are inviting their broader community to participate. JFNA staff stand ready to consult with you. JFNA and The Jewish Agency have prepared these documents for your use: History of Ethiopian Aliyah and Ethiopian Aliyah Fact Sheet. Please contact Evan Hochberg, Associate Vice President and Deputy Director, Israel and Overseas, for more information.
Small Federations and the Ethiopian Israeli Community | Jan. 10, 17 and 24 @ 12pm ET
For decades, Federation has partnered with the Ethiopian-Israeli community to address barriers to the full and successful integration of immigrants and their children into Israeli society. As Israeli society evolves what does the future of our partnership look like? Join JFNA for an exclusive Small Federation virtual journey to Ethiopia and Israel. Hear personal stories and achievements of members of the Ethiopian Jewish community and learn about Federation's longstanding involvement and support.
Emerging Situation in Kazakhstan
JFNA’s I&O team is monitoring the situation in Kazakhstan since protests began on January 2 and have become increasingly violent. The National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry (NCSEJ) has been in contact with the Jewish leadership in Kazakhstan, Jewish organizations operating in the country, and government officials. Although the Jewish community is not a target of the protests, many are worried about the violence and concerned over the safety of Jewish institutions and indeed an Israeli dental student living in the capital was killed when shots were fired at the car in which he was traveling this past weekend.
Happy Anniversary JUF-Chicago!
Mazel tov to JUF-Chicago which is celebrating 25 years of partnership with the Israeli communities of Kiryat Gat, Lachish, and Shafir as part of The Jewish Agency for Israel's Partnership2Gether program. Watch this moving tribute to the unbreakable bonds that have been forged and power of Jewish peoplehood.
WATCH THE VIDEO
The Latest on Religion and State in Israel
Federation’s iRep initiative is proud to share the latest version of our Pluralism Update, a quarterly publication featuring new and encouraging developments in the fields of kashrut, conversion, marriage, and more.
VIEW THE UPDATE
Next Gen Leaders
JDC’s Entwine is known for delivering innovative and impactful programming, and successfully pivoted to keep up momentum during the pandemic. Throughout 2021, during a time that could have been isolating, Entwine found ways to engage close to 10,000 young Jewish leaders around the world. Learn more about their activities in the annual review below.
READ THE REVIEW
JFNA’s Israel and Overseas blog houses in-depth updates on Federation supported work in Israel and around the world. Check out our latest posts on the Jewish Agency’s JReady initiative and the work of JDC’s ESHEL department.
VISIT THE BLOG
You are invited to join JDC’s Board Forums, January 5 – 24, 2022 to access updates and developments from across the world. View the full schedule and register to attend here.
The Taub Center for Social Policy in Israel, a non-partisan socioeconomic research institute, recently released its annual State of the Nation report. View the full report here.