´95% of Israelis think US Jewish support essential´ (JERUSALEM POST) By LAHAV HARKOV 03/25/12)
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Five MKs from across the political spectrum arrived in the US on
Sunday for a week of meetings with American Jewish community leaders
in New York and Boston, as a poll shows that 95 percent of Israelis
believe that American Jewish support of Israel is important.
Both the MK delegation and the poll are funded by the Ruderman Family
Foundation, whose Ruderman Fellowship aims to educate Israeli
politicians about US Jewry and sponsor the foundation of the Israel-
American Jewish Knesset Caucus.
MKs Ofir Akunis (Likud), Ilan Gilon (Meretz), Faina Kirschenbaum
(Israel Beiteinu), Ghaleb Majadle (Labor) and Lea Shemtov (Israel
Beiteinu) will meet with Senators Scott Brown (R-MA) and Chuck
Schmumer (D-NY), as well as heads of major Jewish organizations, and
will hold public events in New York and Boston.
The Teleseker poll, commissioned last week by the Ruderman Family
Foundation, shows that nearly all Israelis perceive American Jewish
support of Israel as important. Half think American Jews care or care
greatly about Israel´s treatment of women, 57.8% about treatment of
Israeli Arabs and 38.8% about last summer´s social protests.
According to NYU Professor Steven M. Cohen, a researcher for the
Ruderman Family Foundation, most American Jews care about social
justice issues, and the gap between this reality and Israelis´
perception is a reflection of their priorities.
"[Israelis] think that American Jews care about the issues that
Israelis care about. To some extent, that´s true," Cohen explained.
However, he added, it is important "to make Israelis, especially
political leaders, aware of the extent to which American Jews care
about social justice issues, alongside their concern for Israeli
Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation, said the
Fellowship is meant to encourage this conversation and expose Israeli
politicians to the American Jewish community´s priorities.
Ruderman expressed hope that the week-long trip will increase the
MKs´ sensitivity to and understanding of US Jewry and its
implications to Israel´s security and future. (© 1995-2011, The
Jerusalem Post 03/25/12)
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