Gov't to commission study of expatriates' connection to Israel

The Hebrew University will present a proposal for a year-long study of Israeli expats abroad to the Cabinet Secretariat over the weekend. "The study's purpose will be to understand the connection to Israel among Israelis living abroad, and to examine ways to preserve and strengthen this connection," a university spokesperson said in a statement. The proposal resulted from a request by Cabinet Secretary, Ovad Yehezkel, to the university's president Prof. Menachem Magidor. The university would not offer more details on the research proposal, which is being prepared by Dr. Uzi Ravhon of the university's Institute for Contemporary Jewry, because it has yet to be approved by the government. In an interview this week with The Jerusalem Post, Yehezkel explained that the Israeli government seeks to develop a new relationship with Israeli expats. "Israelis leave not because they're against Israel, but because it helps them personally," said Yehezkel. "I want to take things in the right proportions. We don't have to insist on bringing them home, but we have to stay connected."