Seeing community dollars at work in Israel - www.jewishaz.com: Your Voice

Seeing community dollars at work in Israel

W. DAVID WEINER | Posted: Wednesday, March 9, 2016 10:00 am

Absorbing 30,000 new immigrants, addressing inequality of religious funding, providing pensions for Soviet olim from 35 years ago, negotiating egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall and providing Israeli shlichim at college campuses around the world to combat the BDS [boycott, sanctions and divestment] movement describes a small part of the work the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) does. I was thrilled to attend my first Board of Governors meeting in Tel Aviv. Through it, I gained a deeper appreciation for a small part of what the Jewish Agency is tasked with doing. 

The nearly $400 million budget for JAFI is supported by Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix and similar federation organizations around the world. I was excited to have a seat at the table and impressed to see how we partner with the government of Israel. I can confidently say that worldwide Jewry has a voice at the table and the respect of the government. After two days of intensive meetings in Tel Aviv and one day spent in the south of Israel, I gained a much better understanding of the many services that our federation dollars allow JAFI to do. It was nice to see a well-balanced group of volunteers encompassing all religious streams worldwide and diversity from all walks of life. 

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