JAFI says decision to withdraw MASA’s controversial ad was Sharansky’s
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JAFI says decision to withdraw MASA’s controversial ad was Sharansky’s

The Jewish Agency, which caught heat last week for the MASA ad campaign that painted intermarried Jews as lost, issued this press release today saying that the decision to withdraw the campaign was that of its new chairman, Natan Sharansky.

Here’s the release:

Further to a directive by Jewish Agency Chairman,Natan Sharansky, the PR campaign of MASA-Israel Journey has been changed as of Tuesday 8th September. 

On Saturday night 5th September, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky issued a directive to stop the PR campaign of MASA-Israel Journey which dealt with the fight against assimilation.Sharansky recommended to change the focus of the PR campaign on the goals of MASA.As a result of Sharansky`s intervention the PR campaign has been changed.

According to Jewish Agency Chairman, Natan Sharansky,"There is no doubt that strengthening the bond between Diaspora Jewry and the State of Israel assists in fighting assimilation and that the MASA-Israel Journey Project  is a valuable and important tool in achieving this goal. Nevertheless we must always be mindful of the sensitivities of Diaspora Jewry and must find a common language between them and the Jews in the State of Israel.The PR campaign should bring the Jews of the Diaspora closer and not alienate them."

Sharansky added, "I  have always believed that not only should Jews of the Diaspora be exposed to an Israel experience, but that Israeli Jews should be exposed to the Diaspora experience so as to understand better the meaning, depth, challenges and sensitivities that Jewish life in the Diaspora poses."

MASA-Israel Journey is a flagship program of the Jewish Agency whose goal is to bring thousands of of young Jews from the Diaspora to study and volunteer in Israel.This project  is one of many projects that the Jewish Agency operates to strengthen the bond between Jewish youth in the Diaspora with the State of Israel and the Jewish People.