American Jewish-Israeli relations have emerged as a priority issue for both of the world's two largest Jewish communities. Common concern for the future and vitality of the Jewish people has made close collaboration between us more vital than ever. In recent years, our experience has included some tensions and misperceptions as well as a determination on both sides to improve our capacity for joint efforts. It is imperative now to enhance our mutual understanding and devise practical programs for cooperation in responding to key challenges facing the world Jewish community.
To meet this challenge the American Jewish Committee established in 1986 a Task Force on American Jewish-Israeli Relations. Its charge was to review sources of both tension and creativity in our relationship and to devise a series of policy recommendations and program plans to enhance understanding and joint efforts. Prominent AJC members from around the country were appointed to this task force, which met several times in the United States and undertook a mission to Israel to discuss our emerging ideas with leading Israeli thinkers.
This publication contains the major products of our study and planning process. It begins with the policy statement outlining our major conclusions and recommendations for action that was adopted at the Annual Meeting of the American Jewish Committee in May 1988. Next is a paper by Gary Rubin, AJC program director and staff coordinator for the task force, outlining the historical background and current issues of American Jewish-Israeli relations. The publication concludes with a report of our mission to Israel.