Focused on deepening the understanding and relevance of the relationship with the American Jewish community, the Caucus will raise awareness among MKs, Knesset committees and lobbies concerning agendas and priorities of Israel and the American Jewish community.
With a vast majority (87.5%) of Israelis believing that the American Jewish community is important to the future and security of the State of Israel, according to a Teleseker (TNS) poll sponsored by the Ruderman Family Foundation in January 19, 2012, this new initiative is extremely timely.
Caucus Chairperson MK Ronit Tirosh (Kadima) launched the Caucus to ensure that this crucial relationship stays strong.
"I came back from the Ruderman Fellows Program in the US last year with the understanding that Israel is in danger of losing one of its most critical strategic allies," said MK Tirosh.
"As times change, and the US Jewish population becomes less engaged and less attached to Israel, the bedrock of traditional US support of Israel becomes less of a certainty too."
MK Tirosh was one of six MK's to participate in the first Ruderman Fellows Program in 2011, which is designed to educate MK's about the American Jewish community.
According to the survey, 78.2 % of the Israeli public believe that the establishment of the Knesset Caucus to educate MKs about the American-Jewish community and be a bridge between the Knesset and this community is an important initiative.
Expected to serve as a dynamic platform for open and candid conversation on relevant and controversial issues affecting the two communities, the new Caucus will become a central Knesset address for all issues related to the American Jewish community.
Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation and a partner in this new undertaking, is concerned by the negative impact that Israeli policy decisions and legislation can have on ties with the Diaspora, and is committed to helping infuse greater understanding between the two communities.
"Again and again, we see that the Jewish people are split into two camps that do not understand each other," Ruderman said.
"The fact that the Knesset members are now willing to examine and address the shifting dynamics in the American Jewish world is a huge step for Israeli political leaders, and it will have a direct impact on the future of Israel and Jewish unity."