Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The end of Aliyah? (or, the well deserved death of the Jewish Agency)

In homage to that famous New York Sun editorial, I would like to start out by saying:

Yes, Yishai, there will be Aliyah!

But moving on:

The Jewish Agency talking about the end of Aliyah kind of of reminds me of Israeli's after the Lebanon war talking about the end of tanks in warfare: the conversation is ridiculously stupidly naive. Like so may Arab armies, the gentiles of the world will never cease in providing reasons for individual and mass Aliyah.

We aren’t facing the end of Aliyah.

We are facing the end of the Jewish Agency.

And as that inefficient and completely ineffective organization dwindles it now spins the “end of Aliyah” as a smokescreen to cover its own utter uselessness.

The Jewish Agency has been underperforming for years—just ask any Oleh who made Aliyah in the pre-Nefesh B'nefesh years. Its main function has been to allow its politically opportunistic administrators and employees the ability to say they work there and use it as a podium for career advancement. Those chickens are now coming home to roost.

Its downfall is inherent within its status as the only Israeli public sector institution in which Diaspora Jews can actually have an impact.

The JA has spurned its crucial donor base within the US over the last couple of decades through is ridiculously bureaucratic buffoonery, forcing communities in the US to develop their own Israel initiatives free from the Agency’s lack of financial transparency (since it traditionally takes a lot of money and provides nothing to show for it) and impotence in execution.

As a result the Jewish Agency has suffered from significant under budgeting across the board for the past several years, leaving its jobbers to meander hopelessly about looking for reasons to justify their organizations existence, and doing nothing all the while save for using the agency as a footstool towards other useless politically titled jobs.

But perhaps most of all, in the wake of these developments organizations like Nefesh B’nefesh and a host of other private initiatives have made a mockery of the Jewish Agency while exposing it for the impotent fraud it is through their professionalism, effectiveness, and transparency. NBN provides an example (if not inspiration) as to what the Jewish agency could have been had the right kind of ethics and strategy ever been employed.

To answer issues relating to its uselessness the Agency has proceeded to streamline over the last several years in an attempt at projecting the image of trimming the sources of financial strain—like so many ponds of sweaty useless fat—that have been holding it back from doing its job. As its very raison d'ĂȘtre, Aliyah has become Agency enemy number one.

If the agency is able to spin the death of Aliyah well enough then it will be able to prolong its own slow death by advancing with fundraising for newer and better projects (sic). Then the agency and its apparatchiks will then be able to virtually undo the very purpose of their organization—leaving them with even less actual work—while keeping their paychecks and soap boxes.

Even so, there is nothing to fear from the death of the Jewish agency. In fact things are better off this way. I have no fear that the private sector will pick up where the public sector has failed in regards to Aliyah across the spectrum, and that all of the worlds potential Olim will get their chance, eventually. 

I say down with the Jewish Agency, down with it. Let it burn my friends, let it burn.

And, let us celebrate in its ruin, for in an almost prophetic way, the Diaspora has killed the Jewish Agency because it wasn’t good enough at exposing them to Israel. The Diasporas desire for Israel has led to the crumble of an eye sore of an Israeli institution and that is something that should inspire us all with hope for the rest of the systems eventual change.

Enjoy the Frankness!


  1. B"H

    I like to call it the "nonJewish" agency.

  2. Anonymous10:19 AM

    I agree, thanks to those "people" not providing me with proper pre-aliyah information (in fact all they said at the end was "wait til you get to israel to sort it all out") it has ended costing me thousands and thousands of shekels, not to mention months of waiting time, trying to fix what could only be mentioned as cleaning up the mis-information and the mis-direction they have spouted. All this money and waiting could of easily been remedied if I have been shown the proper avenue to take whilst preparing all the correct paper work from the UK before arriving in Israel.


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