Orthodox Union leaders from throughout the United States and Canada met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and discussed the need to expand initiatives focused on Diaspora Jewish education and identity.
The delegation was led by OU Executive Vice President Allen Fagin, of Woodmere, and OU President Moishe Bane, of Lawrence.
Netanyahu told the group that the Israeli government had invested tens of millions of dollars in these programs, but agreed more should be done.
“It is time that instead of Israel receiving from the diaspora, we are giving now,” he said.
“I was very much encouraged by the prime minister’s commitment to Jewish students in the diaspora,” Bane said after the meeting. “We look forward to continuing to partner with him and the State of Israel to expose all Jews to their heritage.”
“We were delighted to have the opportunity to explain to the prime minister how youth and adult programming around greater exposure to Israel increases their Jewish identity and their attachment to the State of Israel,” Fagin said.
The OU group was in Israel for an annual celebration with approximately 3,000 participants in its summer programs in the Jewish state. The record summer attendance, and the fact that the OU has become one of the largest operators of first-time group travel to Israel by young adults from North America, validates the need for more funding to support these programs, the leaders said. Source: OU