President-Elect Shimon Peres has agreed to head a new pan-Jewish organization aimed at representing Israeli and Diaspora Jews around the world.
During a conference on the future of the Jewish people in Jerusalem Thursday, the president-elect confirmed he would take up a role as head of the new organization. "I hope the presidency will be home for all Jews that are not Israelis," said Peres.
"I hope to listen to needs of Jewish people," he added, addressing leaders invited by the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute (JPPPI). "This century is a Jewish century. The world is becoming more and more Jewish.
"Without the Jewish State, it would be almost impossible for Jewish Diaspora to exist. Without the talents, solidarity, and loyalty of the Diaspora, Israel could hardly make it.
"The ways for communication are so easy. We have to find a way to work together in the new world. We have to bring the world to Israel and Israel to the world," Peres said.
The JPPPI would play a key role in managing the new organization, which would act as an umbrella body representing Jews around the world, a source told Ynetnews.
"Peres, like Chaim Weizmann during his day, will be both President of Israel and a link to Diaspora Jews," the JPPPI source said.
Former senior US State department official, ambassador Dennis Ross provided additional details about the new organization. "There is a need for a new kind of connection between Israel and the Diaspora," Ross said, adding that there was also a need for "Israelis to have a better appreciation of the needs of the Diaspora."
"I'm going to suggest that this secretariat will also work with your office, and that your office will assume an umbrella organization for the Israeli government," Ross said, addressing the president-elect.
"In Israel, the president has a kind of symbolic - but also a national responsibility. One thing I know about Shimon Peres, he is relentless, he can be a nudge.
"He doesn't give up. Shimon Peres has always been a visionary. And no action plan can succeed unless there are those with vision guiding us," he added.