by Moshe Dror, February 6, 1990

The basic purpose of this study is to assess the transformations that are likely to impact on the interrelationships of the following as we enter the 21st. century:


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    The four basic systems of - Jews as a people, Judaism as a religion, Israel, and the interactions with the Diaspora, form the fundamental issues that are to be studied.

    The function of this project is to:

    1. Explore alternative strategies for achieving sustainable growth, enrichment, and well being of Jews and Jewry in the Diaspora and Israel.

    2. The interrelated opportunities and challenges that emerge from these.

    3. To establish task forces to analyze alternative futures in each of these areas.

    4. To provide factual information and projections that can help a wide range of people make choices today that can lead to desireable futures.

    5. To seriously explore the view that long-term cultural change into a post-industrial is real and that Jews are significant change agents in this sociatal paradigm shift.

    This study can:

    1. Examine many sectors in an integrated way - projecting future trends in

    demography, education , affiliation, religious communities, communications, aliyah, - - - -

    2. Develop long -term perspectives, since the significance of many trends is apparent only when they are examined over decades.

    3. Focus on oppertunities so as not to create undesireable and troublesome consequences later.

    This project would:

    1. Identify those individuals and institutions that are engaged in 21st century studies in these areas and assist them in their work.

    2. Train teams in the general methodology of preparing studies on alternative studies.

    3. Participate in the design and analysis stages of specific studies.

    4. Provide the teams with information about specific strategies for future development.

    5. Connect the teams with organizations and consultants for assistance on specific aspects of these studies.

    6. Gather, analyze, and share the available tools that could be useful in the work, i.e. appropriate computer models.

    7. Assist teams in the publication and international distribution of the resulting reports , in print format and through electronic systems.

    8. Help the study teams to identify measures that will assume that their reports will recieve high-level attention and that would be used in significant policy development.

    9. Organize meetings and consultations , either face-to-face and through electronic telecommunications at which leaders can meet and exchange information and views.

    10. Develop and publish a World Directory of Jewish-Israel Futures Resources and Services.

    11. Deal with the project itself, to

  • identify the numerous topics to be reviewed, both separately and as a whole,

  • needed financing,

  • building the data bases,

  • asses public demand,

  • deal with expectations of sponsors and the Jewish and Israeli establishments,

  • describe some of the possible futures which are not intended as a complete summary, but as illustrations of the kinds of initial results obtained,

  • brief description and discussion of the future of the project and its possible and potential spin-offs.

    In order to do this it is proposed that:

    1. The basic proposal is reviewed and fine tuned by a number of persons in Israel who are interested in this, suggestions at present might include: Tzvi Bisk, Yitzhak Hayutman, Simcha Bahiri, David Macarov, Jacob Baal Shem, Others??

    2. The approved draft be circulated to and comments asked for from other persons for methodological and proceedural fine tuning:

  • Dr. Gerald O. Barney, Director of the Institute for 21st Century Studies , Washington DC

  • Dr. Martha J. Garrett of the Institute

  • Clement Bezold , Alternative Futures Associates, USA

  • Ed Cornish, President -WFS

  • Others to be determined.

    3. It might be important first to determine " Who is Doing What" in this field so as not to duplicate activities and not to have to re-invent the wheel syndrome. This can be done through the following:

    A. Circularize and get input from the 400 or so people that the WFS -Israel Chapter has on a mailing list in Israel. The list would have to be put in order for that.

    B. Develop a strategy to contact by letter or other means the following;

  • The Presidents of the Conference of Major American Jewish Organizations- about 50.

  • World Jewish organizations.

  • Israel Govt agencies who might be into this already.

  • Futurists -world wide, who may be into some aspects of these issues.

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