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.