Sixty percent of American Jews have never visited Israel, according to the Jewish Agency.
In a report to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Cabinet this week, Jewish Agency head Ze'ev Bielski outlined problems in sustaining Diaspora ties to Israel but praised the various programs encouraging outreach and immigration.
"The government and the Jewish Agency face a great challenge in strengthening the connection and the commitment to the State of Israel through many projects, especially the programs bringing young people to Israel," a Jewish Agency statement quoted Bielski as saying.
Bielski underlined the challenge of strengthening Jewish identity and the connection to Israel among Jews of the Diaspora, noting that 60 percent of North American Jews have never been to Israel. The statement also noted the very limited relationship of hundreds of thousands of young Jews in the former Soviet Union with Israel.
Olmert concluded the session by describing the Jewish Agency as "the main axis of the relationship between the government and people in Israel and the Jewish communities around the world, and this government is committed to enhance this relationship."