23 Kislev, 5764
Sallai Meridor, Jewish Agency Chairman at Herzliya Conference:
25,000 New Immigrants to Israel in 2003
"The number of new immigrants to arrive in Israel in 2003 will be almost 25,000. This taking into account the threat posed by Germany to where 20,000 Jews immigrated from the Former Soviet Union last year", Sallai Meridor, the Chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive said today (18.12) at the Herzliya Conference. Meridor added that the most important phenomenon that we are witnessing this year is the increase in immigration to Israel from North America accompanied by the continuing trend of growth in immigration from France.
Refering to the serious trends of assimilation in the Jewish World, Meridor stated that the number of mixed marriages today in the United States is about 50% and because of the trends of assimilation the Jewish people loses every year almost 50,000 Jews. "The Jewish youth in the diaspora lives in two worlds - the western democratic state where he is accepted both in society and work but also faces the growing hatred everywhere against Israel", said Meridor.
The Director General of the Jewish Zionist Education Department of the Jewish Agency, Alan Hoffmann, stated that throughout the world (not including Israel) there are 650,000 Jewish students: 3 out of 4 students are not involved in Jewish activities on campus; only one in every 4 Jewish students has ever visited Israel; and the majority have witnessed anti-semitic and anti-Israel experiences. "In the past the campuses were the Jewish students' homeground but today they have become homeground to their detractors", said Hoffmann. Furthermore, Hoffmann added that every Jewish youngster who visits Israel increases his Jewish involvement on campus.
Hoffmann also stated that the Jewish Agency is initiating a number of enhanced programs to deal with these issues: a project to bring at least 20% of Jewish youth from the Diaspora for a year long program in Israel; sending a large number of Israeli youth to the campuses and Jewish communities throughout the Jewish world; activating a program in cooporation with the major Jewish communities in the United Stated to place Israel as a central theme in the curriculum of Jewish education in the United States.
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Jewish Agency for Israel