June 16, 2011 / 14 Sivan 5771
Sharansky said: "The Jewish Agency has been the driving force in Aliyah since before Israel's founding, so it is completely natural that we will continue to play a critical role in determining who is eligible for automatic citizenship under the Law of Return. According to the criteria set by the State of Israel, any convert recognized by their own Diaspora community is eligible for Israeli citizenship. With emissaries in hundreds of Jewish communities throughout the Diaspora, the Jewish Agency is uniquely positioned to help the State of Israel determine the eligibility of Diaspora converts for Aliyah.
"While there are only a handful of cases per year affected by this most recent understanding, the decision, which reflects a profound concern for the unity of the Jewish people on the part of all parties, has opened the door for important dialogue on further issues concerning identity."