The majority of Israelis believe that the US Jewish community is vital to their country’s security and political existence, a Teleseker poll carried out last week on behalf of the Israel and Boston-based Ruderman Family Foundation has revealed.
The Ruderman Fellows Program, is a new initiative designed to educate members of the Israeli Knesset about the American Jewish community.
Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Foundation and founder of the Fellows Program explained:
"The program aims to foster awareness and understanding of the richness and vitality of the American Jewish community and expose the political leaders to the variety of opinions and pluralism which characterize it,In light of the crucial importance of relations between Israel and the United States, and especially in light of the recent social and political changes in the Middle East, the most important thing right now is to improve understanding and communication between the leadership in Israel and the Jewish community in America.”
"The Ruderman Fellows Program also exposes participants to a variety of opinions and pluralism that characterize the American Jewish community.”
The first Fellows Program will be held in Boston and New York between April 3 and 8. The participants in the first round of the program are MK Avi Dichter (Kadima), MK Ronit Tirosh (Kadima), MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud), MK Carmel Shama (Likud), Eitan Cabel (Labor), and MK Daniel Ben Simon (Labor).
The survey by Teleseker found an overwhelming 87 percent of respondents answering "very important" and "quite important" to the question: "How important is the American Jewish community to Israel’s security and political existence?".
82% of Israelis support the need to educate Israeli MK's about the American Jewish community
A majority of 73% said they believed that Israelis could learn a lot from the religious pluralism practiced in the American Jewish community, even though streams of Judaism alternative to the orthodox are not officially recognized in Israel.
Ambassador Michael Oren told Adrienne Alpert on LA local ABC channel, that him having an American background comes in handy to explain the United States to Israel ,and Israel to Americans.