4. Jewish Agency Support for Birthright Israel
During its five years of existence, Birthright Israel has successfully promoted engagement with Israel and interest in Aliyah, strengthened the connection of the next generation with the people of Israel and triggered greater involvement in Jewish communal life.
Increased Jewish Agency involvement in Birthright, including policy formation in the development of educational content, the prioritization of funds to specific needy communities and the development of a database of program graduates will further the mission of the Jewish Agency.
The goal of bringing some 20,000 annual participants on Birthright Israel programs constitutes a reservoir and platform for radically expanding Project Masa – formative semester and year programs in Israel, a new major initiative of JAFI and the Government of Israel.
The Board of Governors in June 2004 decided the Jewish Agency's support of Birthright Israel for the next five years beginning in 2005, however there is a need to change the version of this previous decision in order to allow the Jewish Agency to improve its ability to make decisions and to influence the level of support and how to transfer the funds over the next five years referred to the previous decision and in addition to influence the extent of JAFI's investment in the participants that arrive from needy countries;
Be it resolved that
The Jewish Agency will increase its financial support of the Birthright Israel program from $2.5 million per year up to $5 million per year, beginning in the 2005 budget year until the 2009 budget year (inclusive), based on the following understandings:
1. The goal is that 20,000 young people will participate each year in Birthright Israel Programs, starting in 2005 and thereafter;
2. The participants will be strongly encouraged to make their $250 deposit a voluntary gift for funding future Birthright programs;
3. The Jewish Agency's involvement in policy formation increases and that data on program graduates is provided to the Jewish Agency;
4. Out of JAFI's financial support, an agreed-upon amount will be budgeted for the one-third local portion for participants from needy countries.
The Board of Governor's gives authority to the Chair of the Executive, Chair of the Board of Governor's, Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, and the Treasurer, jointly, to determine the final level of support given by the Jewish Agency within the boundaries of the $5 million each year, the mode of transfer, and the agreed-upon amount, also within the boundaries of the $5 million each year, to finance the local one third of participants from needy countries.