An Australian initiative to encourage South African Jews to go to Sydney - Project Sydney - recently raised the community leadership's hackles, with former Jewish Agency board of governors chairman Mendel Kaplan writing in the South African Jewish Report: "I do not believe that Jewish communities who have any form of Zionistic ideology as a base, should spend Jewish money on sending leaders to other Diaspora communities to encourage them to make their home other than in Israel." But Vic Alhadeff, CEO of the New South Wales Board of Deputies who spent a week in Johannesburg and Cape Town - where the majority of the Jewish community is based - in January, defended the "integrity" of the move. In an article published in the Jewish Report, he wrote that he and Project Sydney director Selwyn Shapiro had only met with individuals who were already considering migrating to Australia. "Second, we prefaced every meeting with the following unequivocal statements: that as a community we actively support aliya and the principle that Jews leaving Diaspora communities should be encouraged to migrate to Israel; and that our aim is not to encourage people to leave South Africa, where Jews make a major contribution. We were there to offer assistance in the form of information, contacts and social support for potential immigrants into the Sydney community. "The reality is that a significant number of people are considering emigrating from South Africa, yet are not heading to Israel. Those are the people - and only those people - who have approached Project Sydney and to whom Project Sydney is speaking."