President Reuven Rivlin has called for the creation of a “Reverse Birthright” trip for young Israelis so they can become familiar with Jewish communities around the world.
Speaking at the opening of the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly in Tel Aviv, Rivlin said Israel and the Jews of the world “need to talk. We have to talk, and we need to listen.”
Rivlin used the 1950 agreement which defined and set forth the relationship between Israel and American Jewry, signed between Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, and Jacob Blaustein, then-president of the American Jewish Committee, as a springboard from which a new agreement should be formed.
““We cannot escape from returning to the table and re-discussing our disputes. It is our shared responsibility for our children, for the future of the Jewish people,” Rivlin said.
“The Blaustein-Ben Gurion agreement of 1950 defined the relationship between Israel and American Jewry. This document cleverly captured the delicate balance between deep mutual responsibility and non-interference. We must cherish this principle out of respect to our peoplehood on the one hand, and to our two democracies, on the other.
“On the same note, it is time to update or formulate a new ‘Blaustein-Ben-Gurion- agreement. An agreement that meets the current realities and challenges.”