In the last decade, the State of Israel’s position in the Jewish World has changed dramatically, in a way that is likely to constitute a strategic threat to the continued prosperity and cohesion of the Jewish People. This dynamic is fueled by a conceptual gap that exists in Israeli society, especially among Israel’s professional and volunteer leadership. Decision makers in Israel, and those educating the next generation of Israeli leaders have the responsibility to close this gap.
2017 is likely to be a critical year for Israel-Diaspora relations. In 2017, Jews in Israel and the Diaspora will commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the Balfour Declaration and the beginning of the 70-year anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel, as well as the 50-year anniversary of the Six Day War and 50 years of Israeli control over the West Bank and its Palestinian population. In Israel, 2017 will be a central year in determining how these events are remembered and commemorated, as well as a central year in defining their influence on future outcomes. In the Diaspora, these events, combined with the unknown implications of the new Trump Administration, will lead to even greater tensions within Jewish communities. These tensions are likely to further contribute to the divide between Israel and the Diaspora.
The Reut Institute creates transformative models to tackle challenges facing Israel and the Jewish People through innovative research and strategic thinking. For the last two years, a Reut Institute team has researched Israel-Diaspora relations, in order to examine how the State of Israel can continue to fulfill its original mission to be the nation state of the entire Jewish People.
This team has identified a widening gap that endangers the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora, and challenges the legitimacy of the State of Israel. These findings are summarized in a document that outlines a Conceptual Framework to understand this challenge, and proposes policy changes and actions to resolve it.
Additionally, building on the insights of this research, the Reut Institute will host a number of workshops and seminars, in cooperation with the Ministry for Diaspora Affairs, with various leadership groups in Israel in order to wrestle with this central question: What does it mean to be a leader in the nation state of the Jewish People in the 21st Century?
Coverage in the Jerusalem Post:
‘Ties Between US Jews and Israel Could Reach Breaking Point in 2017’ March 27, 2017
JPost Editorial: AIPAC Lessons, March 29, 2017