Israel Advocacy News January 16, 2012: Jewish Agency boosts presence abroad to fight delegitimization of Israel at university campuses



Jewish Agency boosts presence abroad to fight delegitimization

Chairman Natan Sharansky believes sending more shlichim to campuses in North America will tilt scales in fight against de-legitimization of Israel

Source: YNet News, 1-16-12

The wave of anti-Israeli criticism sweeping across many countries, including in North America, has prompted the Jewish Agency to significantly increase the number of Shlichim (emissaries) abroad.

These emissaries, who engage in advocacy for the State of Israel, have been a central part of the Jewish Agency’s vision during the past two and a half years.

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“Several years ago I visited abroad and spoke to young Jews,” Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky recalled. “I heard them say things like: ‘For me, a young Jewish liberal, it would have been better if Israel didn’t exist.’ That’s when I understood that what they’re missing is pride in Israel.”

פעילות הסוכנות בקמפוס UF. "זה לא עניין פוליטי" (צילום: באדיבות הסוכנות היהודית)

Jewish Agency activity in University of Florida (Photo: Jewish Agency)

Sharansky decided to act on his hunch, and nowadays some 400 Jewish Agency emissaries are spread across the globe, out of which some 250 are stationed in North America.

Until recently, the shlichim fulfilled a more educational role in the Jewish communities to which they were sent, however events in the past few years, including the Second Lebanon War, Operation Cast Lead, the Gaza blockade and the flotilla raid, compelled the agency to change direction….READ MORE


Israel Advocacy 101: Canadian Jewish, Israel advocacy groups reorganized



Canadian Jewish, Israel advocacy groups reorganized

Source: JTA, 6-9-11

A reorganization and streamlining of Canadian Jewish and Israel advocacy groups has been approved.

The boards of the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy and United Israel Appeal Federations Canada earlier this month green-lighted a major revamping of communal organizations.

The new, as yet unnamed super agency will assume the role of Canadian Jewish Congress, the Canada-Israel Committee and other groups.

For months, Canada’s Jewish community has expressed concerns that the Canadian Jewish Congress, founded in 1919, would cease to exist under the changes.

The new organization “will continue the work of all the agencies that it is succeeding or that are being folded into it, including the whole range of traditional Congress activities,” Shimon Fogel, CEO of Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy, told JTA.

Fogel said the Canadian Jewish Congress leaders were involved in the process. “This isn’t a hostile takeover.”

As for a name for the new entity, “that’s a process that’s still being studied.”

Local Jewish federations will also be affected by the change, Fogel said.

“It transforms the relationship to an explicit partnership between the federations at the local level and the national agency in terms of delivering advocacy service to the community, and represents an opportunity for the federations to engage more directly in the advocacy process.”

Fogel said he rejects concerns that the changes reflect a shift away from domestic lobbying and more toward Israel advocacy.

“This isn’t about changing the agenda. This is about delivering on that agenda in a more efficient and effective way. Nobody’s abandoning any of the elements of one organizational agenda in favor of another,” he said.