Israel must invest in engaging Diaspora Jewry - Gary Torgow

“It is becoming more and more clear that something is very wrong,” the chairman of Mosaic United said.

 Gary Torgow, Chairman, Mosaic United (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Gary Torgow, Chairman, Mosaic United
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

It is the responsibility of the State of Israel to engage Jews in the Diaspora, said Gary Torgow, the chairman of Mosaic United.

Speaking last week at The Jerusalem Post Annual Conference, Torgow said that “Israel is the population center of the Jewish people and the spiritual and moral backbone of our unique civilization.” Therefore, he said, the country must “invest time, effort and money to reengage the Diaspora community.”

Mosaic United was founded in part by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. Its mission, according to its website, is to “empower young Jewish men and women to develop deeper connections to their Jewish heritage and identities and forge a bond with Israel on their own terms and in their own time.”

Watch The Jerusalem Post Annual Conference.

Torgow said that the current generation is living in an era of tremendous benefits and successes, but at the same time experiencing a crisis unlike any other of the past.

“We are enjoying as a people a historic renaissance in Jewish philanthropy, activism and scholarship,” he stressed. “But we are at the same time experiencing a never-before-seen urgency across the broad spectrum of Jewish life around the entire globe.”

He cited a recent Pew Research Study that showed that assimilation is at its highest level in Jewish history, as is the connection of the Jewish people to the State of Israel.

Torgow said that fewer children are enrolled in Jewish preschools, fewer Jews attend synagogue, and students on college campuses have either lost ties to their Jewish heritage or are fearful of identifying as Jewish.

“It is becoming more and more clear that something is very wrong,” he stressed. “The miracle of Israel and its success... has expanded exponentially. Israel has become a resource for the entire world. But it is a tragic reality that in the intervening time somehow we have not adequately cultivated the commitment, imagination, loyalty and pride of the new generation in the Diaspora.”

This generation’s calling is to achieve unity, Torgow said.

He said that the goal should bring every member of the Jewish people closer to their roots by bringing more effort, more Jewish knowledge, more scholarship and more connectivity to the Jewish people.

“There is no more time for studies and analyses,” Torgow concluded. “Today is the time for action, and this must be the defining principle of this generation.”

Watch the full Jerusalem Post Annual Conference.