Assimilated Jews = Missing Persons
In new commercial for Israel study program
Haaretz reports that the Israeli government-funded organization Masa, which brings young people to Israel for semester- and year-long programs, has “launched a scare-tactic campaign that urges Israelis to combat assimilation in North America by working to prevent the ‘loss’ of their own Jewish acquaintances there.” The group’s running a commercial—complete with “melancholy flute music” and “images of missing-person posters hanging in locales in Europe and North America”—in which an announcer softly intones her hope that viewers who “know a young Jew living abroad” will call Masa and then “together, we will strengthen his or her bond to Israel, so that we don’t lose them.”
If creepy’s not your scene but you like aggressive, the head of Oranim Educational Initiatives, an Israel tour group that used to be one of Birthright’s biggest collaborators, has reinvented his organization as a Birthright competitor. In contrast with Birthright’s, Oranim’s free trips will be available to people up to age of 30 and will involve even more pressure to “keep the diaspora alive,” “solidify Israel’s public image,” and marry Jews.