(July 17, 2019 / JNS) Orthodox Union leaders from the United States and Canada met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday to talk about the need to increase and expand initiatives focused on Diaspora Jewish education and identity.
While the prime minister told the group of American Jewish leaders that the Israeli government has invested tens of millions of dollars in such programs, he acknowledged that this priority deserved more funding.
“It is time that instead of Israel receiving from the Diaspora, we are giving now,” said Netanyahu. “We are increasing tens of millions of dollars, but it is not enough; we need to do more.”
Following the meeting, OU president Moishe Bane said, “I was very much encouraged by the prime minister’s commitment to Jewish students in the Diaspora. We look forward to continuing to partner with him and the State of Israel to expose all Jews to their heritage.”
OU executive vice president Allen Fagin appreciated “the opportunity to explain to the prime minister how youth and adult programming around greater exposure to Israel increases Jewish identity and attachment to the State of Israel.”
The leadership group was in Israel this week for an annual celebration with participants of its summer programs in Israel—a number that this year reached a record 3,000.