Israel Can Do Much to Help Diaspora Jewry, While Spending Little

Last week, the Israeli government approved a plan put forward by the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs to strengthen ties with Jewish communities around the world, and to provide them with support. Unfortunately, writes Caroline Glick, the plan is “heavy on platitudes but empty of substance.” Glick suggests some better ways the Jewish state can be of service:

As the Diaspora Ministry’s program points out, particularly in the U.S., only a tiny minority of Jewish children study in Jewish day schools. High tuition prices most Jews out of the system. It isn’t Israel’s job to subsidize Jewish day schools abroad [but] Israel’s Education Ministry could develop curricula and publish textbooks and other educational materials for Jewish students in the Diaspora.

Second, . . . Israel has a surfeit of teachers and no problem training more. It could launch a program to train teachers to teach in Diaspora communities for a period of thee-to-five years. Such a program could include scholarships for teacher-accreditation programs and dedicated training ahead of relocation. Israel can subsidize the teachers’ salaries or partner with philanthropists to finance their work abroad.

Today there are already extraordinary programs in Israel that train young rabbis to serve as community rabbis in Diaspora Jewish communities. The young rabbis and their families move to far-flung communities for five years where they build, organize, and serve the communities. . . . The government should support and expand these programs. By sending young Israeli rabbis abroad, Israel will lower synagogue membership costs—and through them the cost of living Jewish lives. These rabbis and their families will develop strong, lasting grassroots relationships between Israeli Jews and Diaspora Jewry.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Diaspora, Israel and the Diaspora, Jewish community, Jewish education, Rabbis

What Is the Biden Administration Thinking?

In the aftermath of the rescue of four Israeli hostages on Friday, John Podhoretz observes some “clarifying moments.” The third strikes me as the most important:

Clarifying Moment #3 came with the news that the Biden administration is still calling for negotiations leading to a ceasefire after, by my count, the seventh rejection of the same by Hamas since Bibi Netanyahu’s secret offer a couple of weeks ago. Secretary of State Blinken, a man who cannot say no, including when someone suggests it would be smart for him to play high-school guitar while Ukraine burns, will be back in the region for the eighth time to urge Hamas to accept the deal. Why is this clarifying? Because it now suggests, here and for all time, that the Biden team is stupid.

Supposedly the carrot the [White House] is dangling in the region is a tripartite security deal with Saudi Arabia and Israel. Which would, of course, be a good thing. But like the stupid people they are now proving to be, they seem not to understand the very thing that led the Saudis to view Israel as a potential ally more than a decade ago: the idea that Israel means business and does what it must to survive and built itself a tech sector the Saudis want to learn from. Allowing Hamas to survive, which is implicitly part of the big American deal, will not lead to normalization. The Saudis do not want an Iranian vassal state in Palestine. Their entire foreign-policy purpose is to counter Iran. I know that. You know that. Everybody in the world knows that. Even Tony Blinken’s guitar is gently weeping at his dangling a carrot to Israel and Saudi Arabia that neither wants, needs, nor will accept.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Antony Blinken, Gaza War 2023, Joseph Biden, Saudi Arabia, U.S.-Israel relationship