Kiruv Is Good For Israel


A special session was convened by the Knesset Diaspora Committee to investigate the impact of Orthodox-Reform tension on world Jewry’s support for Israel. It was initiated by the American Jewish Committee’s Jewish Religious Equality Coalition (JREC), founded in 2014. Former U.S. defense official Dov S. Zakheim, who serves as co-chairman of JREC, warned at the meeting that the discord between Israel’s support for Orthodoxy and 85% of America’s Jews who are non-Orthodox or apathetic might adversely affect Israel’s national security.

“Fifty percent of American Jews supported the Iran deal, although I did not,” he said. “Look how few Jews got upset at the Security Council vote, and most of them said nothing. To me this is a national security threat to Israel. It won’t happen tomorrow, it won’t happen next year, but it is coming unless we do something about the 85 percent whose support Israel needs.”

Only among Orthodox Jews was support for Israel stable and even growing, an AJC official noted.

Sadly, Zakheim and others at the Knesset meeting advocated that Israel become more inclusive of the non-Orthodox to solve the issue, with Zakheim noting that because “eighty-five percent of our community is not Orthodox… neither they nor their rabbis or leaders are recognized officially by the rabbinate of this country.” An American Jewish Committee (AJC) survey claimed last year that 74% of Americans favored Israeli recognition of non-Orthodox weddings, divorces and conversions.

The meeting paid less attention to the fact that many non-Orthodox U.S. Jews are unfavorable to Israel because of the growing prevalence of liberalism.


{ Israel News}


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