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Israel to spend more than $1 billion on Diaspora Jews

JTA

January 13, 2014 | 4:28 pm

The Israeli government plans to invest more than $1 billion over the next 20 years to strengthen the Jewish identity of Diaspora Jews.

The Jerusalem Post reported Monday that the initiative, to be developed and implemented jointly with overseas Jewish communities, was first announced in November, but government officials did not share dollar amounts or other details at the time.

The initiative is aimed at Jews between the ages of 12 and 35, and will include programming in seven content areas: immersive experiences; follow-up; Israel and peoplehood education in formal institutions and informal settings; serving “the global good”; Jewish life and Israel engagement on campuses; and the immigration of young professionals.

Final recommendations by the committees, composed of Israeli and Diaspora members, are to be ready by late February, and the budget framework is expected to be brought to the government for approval in a few months, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Among the ideas being considered are a world Jewish peace corps; Hebrew-language courses in public schools in cities with large Jewish populations; the expansion of Birthright-like programs to younger age groups; and increasing financial support for Jewish summer camps.

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