Whereas the Prime Minister, Mr. Ehud Olmert, opened the Opening Plenary of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency on Sunday, June 22nd, 2008 with a speech in which he presented his vision regarding the significant change in the relationship between the State of Israel and the Jewish People in the Diaspora and the deepening of the partnership between the Government of Israel and the Jewish world; and
Whereas, at the Coordinating Committee between the Government of Israel and the Jewish Agency, which took place on Sunday, June 23rd, 2008, and headed by the Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency, the following resolution was adopted:
"It is decided, following the Prime Minister's speech yesterday before the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency, and the discussions which took place today in the Coordinating Committee between the Jewish Agency and the Government, to authorize the Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency to establish a Steering Committee for deepening the bonds between the State of Israel and Jews in the Diaspora.
The Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Jewish Agency, in consultation with the Minister of Diaspora Affairs, will appoint the committee members, who will include representatives from the Government, the Jewish Agency, Jewish Communities around the world, Jewish organizations and selected persons from Israel and the Diaspora. The committee will be co-chaired by the Government Secretary and the Director General of the Education Department of the Jewish Agency.
The role of the Steering Committee will be:
· The Committee will prepare a master plan for encouraging Jewish Identity in Diaspora communities and for strengthening the bond with the State of Israel.
· The Steering Committee will hold discussions and consultations with communities, Jewish organizations and selected groups in Israel and the Diaspora.
· The Steering Committee will examine the pooling of governmental resources, existing for this purpose, and locate opportunities and duplications.
· The Steering Committee will determine its schedule and be aided by experts and consultants as it sees fit.
The Steering Committee will submit its recommendations to the Coordinating Committee by February 2009, and submit an intermediate report on its work at the November 2008 meeting.
The work of the steering committee will be coordinated by Mr. Avi Widerman and Ms. Perry Nativ. "
Therefore, it is hereby resolved:
The Jewish Agency expresses its appreciation to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for the historic address presented to the Board of Governors Plenary in Jerusalem. This vision reflects a major change in the paradigm of the relationship between the State of Israel and the Jewish People in the Diaspora and a strengthening of the partnership between the Government of Israel and the Jewish world.
The Jewish Agency applauds the Prime Minister's declared intention to increase significantly the Government of Israel's commitment, responsibility and investment in securing the future of the Jewish People.
The Jewish Agency is honored to be called upon to meet the request of the Prime Minister. The Agency will act on behalf of the Government of Israel to lead the process of strengthening the bonds between the State of Israel and the Jewish People in the Diaspora, through a comprehensive planning process in consultation with Jewish communities, organizations and leaders in Israel and the Diaspora.
The Jewish Agency regards as crucial the mission of deepening Jewish identity in the Diaspora and strengthening the bond between Israel and the Diaspora for the years to come. This mission is in addition to strengthening Aliyah, Jewish-Zionist education in the Diaspora, and narrowing the gaps in Israeli society particularly in national priority areas – the Negev, Galil and Jerusalem.