For the many, many, many of you who wrote to me complaining about the Israeli government's anti-Diaspora ad campaign, take heart: At least the leaders of Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) are paying attention. Someone just passed me this memo (and I confirmed its authenticity with the JFNA):
TO: JFNA Board of Trustees
Federation Presidents and Executive Directors
FROM: Kathy E. Manning, Chair, JFNA Board of Trustees
Michael C. Gelman, Chair, JFNA Executive Committee
Jerry Silverman, JFNA President & CEO
RE: Israel Ad Campaign
This is to follow up on an earlier note from the JFNA Israel office concerning a new Israeli Ministry of Immigrant Absorption ad campaign attempting to lure ex-Israeli citizens home.
While we recognize the motivations behind the ad campaign, we are strongly opposed to the messaging that American Jews do not understand Israel. We share the concerns many of you have expressed that this outrageous and insulting message could harm the Israel-Diaspora relationship.
For that reason, we have made our concerns known to Israeli officials in the United States, and are delivering a strong letter to the Prime Minister's office asking the government to stop this initiative and to reconsider the strategy behind it. We have also offered to help play a role in rethinking this effort.
We will keep you informed with updates as soon as possible.