Last year, The Jewish Agency for Israel took the opportunity to renew our mission and strategic plan as we headed into our ninth decade, emphasizing three impact areas to lead us in the direction of a thriving Jewish future: Aliyah, connecting the Jewish people worldwide to each other and Israel, and strengthening Israeli society.
In that respect, 2019 was full of highlights:
…It was a significant year for Aliyah, with 35,635 Jews moving to our homeland, a record-breaking year for the decade’s Aliyah numbers.
…Our Israel immersion programs continued to offer meaningful experiences to young Jews looking to grow and develop personal bonds to Israel.
…We expanded our Amigour housing complexes in Israel to offer more affordable housing units to seniors.
…Our Shlichut programs, which bring Israeli emissaries to communities and college campuses around the world, continued to bring Israel to life for global Jewry.
…Our Security Assistance Fund made headlines in October when it kept Jews safe from a gunman attempting to enter a synagogue in Halle, Germany.
Going into 2020, while our strategic plan was not yet rolled out, we started putting it into action with the staunch support of our partners. The real and remarkable collaboration with The Jewish Federations of North America, Keren Hayesod/UIA and the World Zionist Organization allowed The Jewish Agency to set the course on the ground around the world. When the coronavirus crisis hit, this collaboration enabled us to shift gears quickly in order to respond efficiently to the changing needs of the global Jewish people in the face of the pandemic.
Rather than let the unexpected challenges associated with COVID-19 stop us, we stepped up to the plate, firmly establishing The Jewish Agency as a leader in the Jewish world. Indeed, the crisis has highlighted the importance of our role as a critical global Jewish platform, allowing us to leverage our global infrastructure, based on our regional offices and our worldwide network of Shlichim (Israeli emissaries), to address the immediate needs of Jewish communities across the world. In fact, our Shlichim have served a pivotal role through the coronavirus, continuing to develop and offer robust, virtual Israel engagement programming.
And we immediately provided assistance to Jewish institutions and communities facing financial difficulties around the world, convened Jewish organizations in critical forums, and announced the launch of our COVID-19 loan funds – one for Jewish communities in crisis and one for Israeli nonprofits. These efforts are vital for the resilience of organizations, individual communities and the Jewish people as a whole. Read more about our coronavirus response.
We are so grateful to our partners, private donors, constituents, volunteers and our dedicated staff globally. It is only because of you that we are able to continue our work and ensure Jews worldwide remain connected and flourishing – every one of us, together.
Wishing everyone safety and health,