Photo Credit: Haim Twito, Meir Elipur
Pnina Tamano-Shata


The conference will be held on May 22 in Manhattan and will be part of the festivities of the Celebrate Israel Parade.


 The Israeli Besheva media group, which includes Arutz 7 and Israel National News, announced extending its famous conference to the other side of the globe. The conference will be held on May 22, 2022, 4-9 p.m., at InterContinental Times Square. On the same day, New York City holds the Celebrate Israel Parade with thousands of participants, and The Jerusalem Conference will be part of the festivities.

Besheva’s Jerusalem Conference, being held annually for 20 years, explores important topics of national priority and deals with a variety of issues on the public agenda in the State of Israel. “This time, our goal is to bring the Jewish community and Israel’s supporters together to give them a sense of the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora.” Said Besheva’s chairman Dudu Saada. “We want to provoke a discussion about Israel-American Jewry relationship, Jewish identity and to raise awareness about rising antisemitism.”

The conference will be comprised of panels One-on-one interviews with notable leaders, including Israel’s Minister of Immigrant Absorption Pnina Tamano-Shata, Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Minister of Housing and Construction Ze’ev Elkin, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Mr. Gilad Erdan, the Consul General of Israel in New York Ambassador Mr. Asaf Zamir, CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations William C. Daroff, CEO of UJA-Federation of New York Eric S. Goldstein, local elected officials, community leaders and more.

Yaakov Hagoel

Two influential organizations that will take part in the conference are the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency, both being led by Yaakov Hagoel.

Hagoel has served as acting chairman of the Jewish Agency for the past nine months. His biggest challenge so far is the major wave of Aliyah from Ukraine.

“The Jewish Agency continues to be at the forefront of its mobilization for the people of Israel in general and for Ukrainian Jewry in particular. The Jewish Agency is joining with the other bodies to help the emergency crisis facing Ukrainian Jewry. Together we are rescuing and streamlining the process of absorption in order to facilitate the thousands who are arriving to their new home in Israel,” he stated.

Hagoel said he was proud of the exceptional cooperation between all the organizations working outside of Israel, orchestrated by the Jewish Agency. The JDC, Chabad, United Hatzalah, and other Jewish organizations seeking to assist Jews are working in full cooperation, he explained.

“We are the most significant and leading factor in immigration for these refugees, Hagoel said.

Jerusalem Conference

“Our senior staff members are always on the ground at any given time. The entire executive staff participates in situation assessments twice a day. There is not a day that goes by without us sending Israeli teams to the neighboring countries of Ukraine and planes bringing new Olim to Israel,” he stated.

Hagoel revealed that the agency is now working on increasing its presence at the border. “Currently, we are erecting large tents at each of the border crossings where possible, ” he explained. “But you must understand that most of our work today is done by phone through our hotline. During all stages of aliyah, we were with a candidate from the moment he called from Odessa until he immigrated to Israel,” Hagoel said.

Regarding family reunification, Hagoel added, “it is a challenge we have never experienced in the 1990s or in any other operation of aliyah. It is probably one of the biggest barriers to immigration. A family whose husband or son did not leave may want to wait in one of the bordering countries. Alternatively, there will be family reunification if there is a ceasefire. Families may decide not to immigrate to Israel. They may return to Ukraine or another European country.”

“The big challenge is in the hands of Israeli citizens. If we create the best absorption for the women who immigrate here, if they have a good place to live, a livelihood, and good education for their children, there is a chance that their husband will join. If the absorption is not good, the family may decide to return to Europe and rejoin the husband.”

Regarding the challenge of convincing Ukrainian Jews to immigrate to Israel rather than other European countries, he said, “the Jewish Agency’s mission is to bring Jews to Israel, and we make every effort to achieve this goal. The decision is theirs. There are Jewish communities in Germany, for example, that do outreach to Ukrainian Jews on the border between Ukraine and Moldova. It makes sense for this to happen.”

“We are investing tremendous effort into it, as it’s clearly a difficult challenge. We have two tremendous efforts outside of Israel. First, we must rescue Jews, and then we must bring those who wish to come to Israel.”

The topic of Aliyah will play a significant role at the conference through a fascinating panel led by Israel’s Ministry of Immigrant Absorption and one-on-one interviews on stage with Minister of Immigrant Absorption Pnina Tamano-Shata and Founder and CEO of Nefesh B’Nefesh Rabbi Yehoshua Fass. To register for the conference:


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