ZF to lead aliyah push

By Jessica Elgot, May 19, 2011

The Zionist Federation hopes to launch its first campaign encouraging British Jews to make aliyah, historically promoted by the Jewish Agency.

Last year JA chair Natan Sharansky announced last year that he hoped the JA would make "Jewish peoplehood" its main aim rather than aliyah .

Alan Aziz, chief executive of the ZF, said that if plans were finalised then the JA would continue to handle the practical side of becoming an Israeli citizen, but would no longer promote it.

He said: "We are going to launch a very big campaign to promote aliyah from the UK. Our events haven't focused on this before, because it's never been our responsibility."

The new focus for the ZF will mean two new members of staff, including a shaliach (emissary) from Israel.

Mr Aziz said: "We will use next year's Yom Ha'atzmaut celebrations across the country as a platform to tell people about the benefits of living in Israel. Obviously, we're not forcing people on to a plane, and of course we see British Jews have a very valid role here, and there's work to be done for Israel in the UK too. But making aliyah is one of the key ideals of the ZF."

Last updated: 1:48pm, May 19 2011