I spent a fascinating couple of days this week with one of our key partners, the Jewish Agency for Israel. If you’re proud of the work we do helping Jews make Aliyah, strengthening our connection to Israel, and working around the world to deepen Jewish identity, then you should be proud of our partners too. Like our amazing shlichim program, the Aliyah and identity programs help Israel ̶ but we get back so much more at home.
In one of our meetings we discussed the situation of French Jewish Aliyah. The number of French olim (new immigrants to Israel) doubled last year from 3,500 to some 7,000. If you donated to our UJA annual campaign this last year then you should be proud. Because it’s your generosity that helped these 7,000 olim move to Israel. And the number may double again this year.
But there’s something else. On one level, it’s really difficult for us to relate to what’s happening. There are lots of numbers. Statistics. Tables and charts that show impact and lives changed. And these are critical. But they miss something vital, which is how we understand the human impact of what we do.
How do we explain and show what it means when we help, for example, a Ukrainian Jewish family box up everything and leave for Israel? A Jew from a distressed country? A Jew from France? We know that we have this awe-inspiring task always waiting to be fulfilled. But how do we show it in a meaningful, personal way?
I was sitting with a colleague, talking about this precise issue at the back of the Jewish Agency meeting, when suddenly the lights went down and this beautiful short video started playing on the screen.
Take a couple of minutes now and be totally inspired by what Aliyah means and why we help. And if you’ve supported our Federation’s annual campaign this year, then thank you. This is because of you.
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