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September 5, 2015 / 21 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Jewish Agency for Israel’

Jewish Agency for Israel Calls for Special Diaspora Conversion Courts

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

The Board of Governors of The Jewish Agency for Israel is calling for the establishment of special religious courts in the Diaspora to handle conversions outside the State of Israel.

A resolution adopted by an overwhelming majority of the board at its meeting Wednesday (June 24) said that in the absence of such courts, the Agency would send rabbis to assist local communal rabbis in the endeavor.

“In light of The Jewish Agency’s responsibility to help ensure the unity of the Jewish people and in recognition of the existence of many interfaith families in various Jewish communities, The Jewish Agency wishes to facilitate these families’ full integration into the Jewish people via conversion, as well as through the possibility of Aliyah. In the absence of conversion courts able to serve those who wish to convert in many Jewish communities, The Jewish Agency will cooperate with the special conversion courts established for this purpose by sending rabbis to assist local communal rabbis.

“The Jewish Agency will accompany the converts through their process of preparing for Aliyah, for those who choose that option.”

“The Jewish Agency serves the needs of Jewish communities around the world,” said Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Agency.

“This is one of the very real needs voiced by various Jewish communities. The time has come to respond.”

The issue of Jewish conversion both in Israel and abroad is one that is complex, controversial and fiercely debated between individuals as well as communities.

Recently the community leadership position of a major Anglo-Israeli rabbinic figure came under question, it was believed, in part due to the controversy generated over this topic.

27 Yr-Old Oleh Fulfills Father’s Dying Wish, Reports to IDF

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Uzi Hangadi, 27, made Aliyah this past week from San Diego, CA, following a promise he made to his father, before he died of cancer. The promise was to continue what he started in the US, and to devote his entire life to the struggle to improve Israel’s image in the world. With the help of Nefesh B’Nefesh, in cooperation with the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael and JNF USA, Uzi fulfilled his promise and went to the IDF recruitment office yesterday.

When Uzi’s parents divorced, his father returned to Israel and started a new family, while his mother remained with him in Los Angeles. Uzi’s father took advantage of every opportunity to convince Uzi to enlist in the IDF and protect his Jewish homeland, but Uzi knew he could not leave his mother, who was suffering from ALS, on her own.

On the other side of the ocean his father was battling cancer (which was kept a secret from him). When Uzi was 19, his father’s cancer suddenly worsened, and he received a surprising phone call from his uncle to come to Israel as soon as possible in order to say goodbye.

Uzi managed to reach the hospital in time, and was able to assure his father that he will make Aliyah and enlist in the IDF. Hours later, his father lost consciousness and died. A short six months later, Uzi’s mother passed away, leaving him an untimely orphan. He decided then that he would fulfill his promise to his father and realize his dream of moving to Israel, which was in essence his own lifelong dream .

After making Aliyah a few days ago, Uzi reported to the IDF recruitment office and plans to serve in an elite combat unit.

In addition to his difficult personal journey, Uzi experienced a number of anti-Semitic incidents during his studies at UCLA, where he was attacked by pro-Palestinian activists and had his life threatened on Facebook and offline.

Uzi used to conduct lectures and workshops for students and interested US citizens who were less knowledgeable regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict, and as part of the various protests and demonstrations he participated in was subject to countless anti-Semitic acts, curses and threats. He was attacked physically and had personal property destroyed.

He explains that many times he felt his life was in danger, someone was breathing down his back or he was being followed. The more he tried to advocate for Israel, the more he felt the threats growing around him. In Israel, he hopes to continue to dedicate his life to Israel advocacy, first in the army and later on by working to improve Israel’s image in the world.

Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Nefesh B’Nefesh added: “Uzi’s story portrays a moving story of a young man, who despite so many personal challenges, not only chose to fulfill an intimate promise to his father but to also fight for the realization of the Zionist dream, and became an Israeli who is dedicating his life to his people and his country.”

Jewish Agency’s Natan Sharansky Speaks Up for Efrat Chief Rabbi Shlomo Riskin

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

A groundswell of support for Efrat Chief Rabbi Shlomo Riskin is growing around the country, with the latest outcry coming from Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Natan Sharansky.

Forces in the Israeli Chief Rabbinate are reportedly attempting to pressure Riskin into an early retirement from his long-time position. The rabbi is one of the founders of the Judean city of Efrat, which was built in Gush Etzion in the early 1980s, about ten minutes’ drive south of Jerusalem. Riskin is deeply popular with the city’s residents.

“The Jewish People, and particularly the people of Efrat, deserve the continued service of Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, a Jewish leader and Israeli patriot,” Sharansky said in a statement released Wednesday.

“Rabbi Riskin’s contributions to Aliyah, to building the State and Land of Israel, to connecting the Jews of the Diaspora to their homeland, and to connecting all Jews to the Torah, are of historic proportions.

“In view of these outstanding and unparalleled achievements, there should be no questions about his qualifications for his continued service,” Sharansky said.

The agency leader is known throughout the Jewish world for his history of maintaining his intention to move to Israel, despite major government persecutions by the Soviet Union.

Once freed from prison, Sharansky immediately made good on his public claim and moved to the Jewish State.

6 Anglo Aliyah Immigrants to Receive NBN Bonei Zion Prize

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Six olim (immigrants) from English-speaking countries who have made a major impact on the State of Israel will be awarded the Nefesh B’Nefesh 2015 Bonei Zion Prize next Tuesday, May 12 in a ceremony at the Knesset Auditorium.

MK Tzachi Hanegbi will attend and also present an additional Lifetime Achievement Award to Tal Brody for his contribution to shaping and helping Israel though sports and dedicated hasbarah (public communications) efforts.

Professor Charles Sprung, director of the General Intensive Care Unit at Hadassah Medical Organization is to receive an award in the field of Science and Medicine.

Jon Medved, founder and CEO of OurCrowd will receive an award for his work in the field of Entrepreneurship and Technology.

Rabbi Dr. Seth Farber, founder and executive director of ITIM, the organization that helps people who want to convert to Judaism, will receive an award for his work in the field of Community and Non-Profit.

Chana Reifman Zweiter, founding director of Kaleidoscope / The Rosh Pina Mainstreaming Network, is set to be awarded the prize in the field of Education.

Asher Weill, publisher and editor, will be awarded the prize in the field of Culture, Sports & Arts.

IDF Staff Sgt. Asaf Stein, PhD, will receive the IDF and National Service Young Leadership Award.

Nefesh B’Nefesh was founded in 2002 to help increase the success of North American aliyah to Israel. In cooperation with the Israeli government and the Jewish Agency for Israel, the organization continues its commitment to bringing Jews from North America and the UK on aliyah to Israel.

NBN works to remove or minimize financial, professional, logistic and social obstacles that are often involved in a move to the Jewish State through its unique support and comprehensive social services. As a result, more than 90 percent of the “anglos” who have moved to Israel with the help of NBN have remained there.

World Zionist Congress Elections: Time is Running Out

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Have you voted yet in the World Zionist Congress elections? Did you know there is an election happening now, and it ends on April 30?

Okay; step back. What is the World Zionist Congress, why is there an election for it now, and who is running? And then, don’t forget to vote.

WORLD ZIONIST CONGRESS

The WZC was founded by Theodore Herzl in 1897. His idea was to create a legislative body of informed and interested Jewish organizations to make determinations for the Jewish people with the hope of helping to re-establish the Jewish State.

Now that there is, once again, a Jewish State, the WZC meets every five years to discuss and debate issues vital to the Jewish people, such as Jewish identity, security, civil society in Israel, anti-Semitism, and the Jewish State enterprise.

In addition to general policy discussions, the WZC exerts substantial control over significant assets owned by the three major Jewish institutions. It is in this way that parties with a strong voice in the WZC are able to have some control over how the substantial funds of these organizations are spent.

The Jewish National Fund, which controls approximately 13 percent of Israel’s land is one branch over which the WZC has influence.

The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), which is currently headed by Natan Scharansky, is also under the purview of the WZC. JAFI deals with immigration to Israel and absorption of new olim, and influences education about Zionism.

The third institution over which the WZC has some level of control is the World Zionist Organization. The WZC helps the WZO decide how to allocate funds and assists in the formulation of WZO policies.

PARTIES RUNNING

The WZC has a total of 500 members. The majority – 190 members – comes from Israel. The United States is entitled to 145 WZC members and the remainder of the diaspora is permitted 165 representatives.

There are currently 11 parties running slates for the WZC in the U.S.

Those parties run the spectrum, from those who believe Israel was given by God and every inch of the biblical homeland belongs to the Jewish people, to those who support the immediate creation of a Palestinian State regardless of the harm to the current Jewish State.

It is essential that anyone voting reads the platform and looks at the slate of individuals running for each slate. Some of the party names do not necessarily correspond with the true nature of the parties.

WHO CAN VOTE AND HOW?

In order to vote in the U.S. elections for the WZC, you first have to register. If you are 18 years old, live in the United States and accept what is called the “Jerusalem Program,” chances are you are entitled to vote in the U.S. WZC election, which is run by the American Zionist Movement.

The Jerusalem Program encapsulates the belief that Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, that Zionism led to the (re)establishment of Israel, which is understood to be a Jewish, Zionist, democratic and secure state and is the expression of the common responsibilities of the Jewish people for its continuity and future. Zionism assumes the centrality of the State of Israel and of Jerusalem, its capital.

According to the Jerusalem Program, Zionism asserts that Israel is rooted in the vision of the prophets, and that it strives for peace and to contribute to the betterment of the world. Zionism seeks to foster Jewish spiritual and cultural values and nourishes mutual Jewish responsibility, where the rights of Jews as individuals and as a nation are defended, and where everyone strives to erase all forms of anti-Semitism. “Finally, settling the country is an expression of practical Zionism.”

66 Israeli Heroes Share a Message for 66 Years of Israel

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Nefesh B’Nefesh, the Aliyah organization assisting Olim from North America and the UK, in cooperation with The Jewish Agency for Israel, the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel, JNF-USA and the Friends of the IDF, has produced a short video in honor of Israel’s Independence Day, in which Israeli heroes together with new and veteran Olim, recite Israel’s Declaration of Independence translated into English.

The purpose of the video is to inspire Jews around the world while reminding them of the significance and miracle of the Jewish State.

Am Yisrael Chai…

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/66-israeli-heroes-share-a-message-for-66-years-of-israel/2014/05/06/

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