May 23, 2012 / 2 Sivan 5772
Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu addressed today thousands of Jewish young adults from around the world who are currently spending time in Israel as part of Masa Israel Journey, a partnership between the government of Israel and The Jewish Agency. Netanyahu called on the Masa participants to stand up for Israel wherever they are – by making aliyah (immigrating to Israel) or defending Israel in their home communities.
“Israel is your home, your homeland, and your future,” the Prime Minister said. “You are bringing back to your countries something valuable – the truth about Israel.”
The prime minister praised Jewish Agency Chairman of the Executive Natan Sharansky, calling him “a hero of the Jewish people.”
He recalled for the Masa participants that when Sharansky stood in court back in the Soviet Union and was asked whether he had anything to say, he responded: “I have nothing to say to the court, but to my wife and the Jewish people I say, ‘next year in Jerusalem.’”
Sharansky then informed the Masa participants that a Jew had been murdered earlier in the day in a Yemen marketplace solely for being Jewish.
“We must do everything to protect the Jews of Yemen and Iran, and all the Jews of the world,” he said, adding that it is imperative that the young people take their future and that of the Jewish people into their own hands.
Masa Israel Journey, a partnership between the government of Israel and the Jewish Agency, brings some 10,000 Jewish young people from throughout the world to experience Israel on long-term programs each year. The initiative is aimed at strengthening the connections between Israel and the Jewish world. Masa participants tend to return to their home countries even more engaged in Jewish life and Israel advocacy than they had been when they left, and many assume leadership positions in their communities. Many Masa participants—some twenty percent—elect to make aliyah.
About The Jewish Agency for Israel
Investing in a vibrant Jewish future, The Jewish Agency for Israel continues to address the greatest challenges of our People in every generation. We connect the global Jewish family, bringing Jews to Israel- and Israel to Jews. We build a better society in Israel- and beyond- energizing young Israelis and their worldwide peers to rediscover a collective sense of Jewish purpose. At the same time, The Jewish Agency continues to be the Jewish world’s first responder, prepared to rescue and bring Jews home to Israel from countries where they live at-risk. More information can be obtained at http://www.jewishagency.org.