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Between Thriving and Decline

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Between Thriving and Decline

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Between Thriving and Decline
The Jewish People Policy Planning Institute Annual Assessment 2004-2005
Edited by Rami Tal
Gefen Publishing House: Jerusalem and New York, (2005)
ISBN: 965-229-346-6

Reviewed by Anna Dogole - March 15, 2006

Jewish People Policy Planning Institute (JPPPI) was established in 2002 by the Jewish Agency for Israel, LTD. A non-profit organization, the mission of the JPPPI is to study the threats and challenges facing the Jewish people and to develop policy planning strategies that will help to pinpoint the opportunities that can be taken advantage of, and the actions needed to ensure the continued survival and prosperity of the Jewish People. In their 2004-2005 annual assessment, the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute provides an eye-opening overview of the current demographics of Jewish populations around the world, and it provides a region-by region analysis of the current status of the various Jewish communities in each region - including population shifts, dangers facing each community such as assimilation and antisemitism, and the long term outlook for the communities under discussion.

This report is titled Between Thriving and Decline, and it offers a telling description of many of the Jewish communities around the world. While many communities are in noticeable decline, such as many of those located in South America, others are experiencing unprecedented growth such as those in Israel and Germany. The majority, however, are on the cusp between prospering and failing. This book examines why these changes are occurring, the long term sustainability of these communities, and the policy goals that need to be implemented to sustain these communities.

The text is divided into three main sections. The text also includes a combined Hebrew and English Bibliography of resources referenced in the book, including websites, as well as a list of the individuals who were interviewed or consulted during the writing of this book.

Between Thriving and Decline - The Jewish People Policy Planning Institute Annual Assessment 2004-2005 is a fascinating and informative book that should be required reading of anyone interested in the status of World Jewry, as well as those seeking to empower World Jewry: politically, socially, and in creating strong, vibrant Jewish communities. It is also a vitally important book that should be read by every Jewish political, religious, educational, and community leader because the statics and analysis provided in this book will help them to make more informed decisions and to formulated long term strategies to help assist and strengthen not only their own communities, but World Jewry as a whole. The information provided in this book will also help readers, from every level, better comprehend the impact that non-Jewish political decisions have on the overall Jewish community, and why it is vitally important to take a long term view when it comes to setting and implementing policies - and why it is important for Jews to take an active role in the non-Jewish political arena.

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