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Dani Dayan was speaking at conference hosted by the Ruderman Program for American Jewish Studies which touched on issues pertaining to furthering the relationship between Israel and U.S. Jewry
Boston, MA, June 13, 2021 — As a new Israeli government was sworn in today, a conference, hosted by the Ruderman Program for American Jewish Studies at University of Haifa last week, expressed confidence that closer ties between the Israeli government and U.S. Jewry will become a priority.
“I have no doubt a Bennett, and Lapid government for that matter, will feel a greater obligation to work with U.S. Jewry,” Former New York Consul-General Dani Dayan said at the conference. “The days in which Israel felt it could ignore American Jews, are no longer.”
Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation agreed with Dayan’s assessment of the new coalition’s willingness to work with American Jewry and added that this would be further strengthened by President-elect Isaac Herzog, who will be eager to establish a healthy relationship with American Jews.
“Having been Chairman of The Jewish Agency for Israel for the past three years, serving as Israel’s Minister of Diaspora Affairs, and spending ample time in the U.S., President -elect Herzog has a unique understanding of Jewish communities across the country and how they interact with Israel,” said Ruderman. “I have no doubt this unique insight will play a role in changing the landscape of Israeli-American Jewry relations.”
Ruderman added that the Israeli public were no longer content with ignoring the issue and understood the importance of achieving a “common language” between the world’s two largest populations of Jews.
“It’s hard not to recognize the vast influence American Jews have on the State of Israel and we must continue to operate together towards a common goal. We are, above all, one people and not just a collection of various religious sects. The members of the new government believe now, more than ever before, in the importance of the relationship. They have a connection and experience in the field and there is an expectation that the government will tend to the issue more seriously”, he concluded.
The Ruderman Program for American Jewish Studies was founded with a fervent mission to bridge the gap between Israeli and American Jewish communities and strengthen ties between Israel and U.S. Jewry. Last week’s conference touched on a myriad of issues pertaining to furthering this relationship and discussed the significance of the recent Pew Research Center survey on American Jewry which came out last month. The program promotes ongoing academic research in Israel on the topics of Jewish-American life, American society and the long-lasting and vital bond between the Jews of America, the State of Israel, and Israeli society. Dayan and Ruderman were joined by a number of experts on the topic, including, Prof. Leonard Saxe, Director of the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University; Dr. Claire Sufrin an Associate Professor of Instruction in Jewish Studies and Assistant Director of Jewish Studies at Northwestern University; Dr. Elan Ezrachi, a professor of American Jewish Studies at University of Haifa; and Michal Reshef, International News Correspondent for KAN Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation.
About the Ruderman Family Foundation
The Ruderman Family Foundation is a private philanthropic foundation established in 2002 managed by the Ruderman family. The Foundation operates in the United States and Israel in two main areas: Inclusion of people with disabilities in society and in strengthening the relationship between Israel and the American Jewish community. In the field of Israel-American Jewish relations, the foundation focuses on fostering a sense of mutual commitment between the State of Israel and the Jewish community in the United States. The Foundation aims to raise awareness, generate and disseminate knowledge, and promote positive attitudes among the Israeli public towards the American Jewish community. We believe that the partnership between Israel and the American Jewish community is a strategic asset to the strength and prosperity of Israel and the entire Jewish people.