Shavei Israel strives to extend a helping hand to all members of our extended Jewish family and to all who seek to rediscover or renew their link with the people of Israel.
Shavei Israel believes that Jewish People is a family with links that never vanish completely; our endeavor is to strengthen the links wherever they may have been weakened by history, distance or social parameters.
The Need: The Jewish people are currently facing a demographic and spiritual crisis of unprecedented proportions. Our numbers are shrinking, Jewish commitment is waning, and more and more young people are leaving the fold. And yet, simultaneously, an extraordinary awakening is taking place. From northeastern India to southern Spain, from the coast of Portugal to the shores of Brazil, countless numbers of people are trying to make sense of their Jewish ancestry, wrestling with profound questions of history, identity and self. Many are literally knocking on our collective door, looking for a way to enter. This presents the Jewish people with a tremendous opportunity to reinforce its ranks and reinvigorate its spirit by extending a courteous hand to all those who wish to return. Shavei Israel is the only Jewish organization today that is actively reaching out to “lost Jews” in an effort to facilitate their return. We are not merely a research team. We approach each case on a human level, lending guidance and understanding in tracing Jewish roots, exploring Jewish history and evaluating options for returning to the Jewish people.
The How-To’s of “Return”: Returning to the Jewish people does not and should not involve coercion or compulsion. It is a deeply personal decision and cannot be imposed from the outside. It may result from a desire to recover a lost heritage, or from an intense need to understand various inherited customs and family traditions. But whatever the source, Shavei Israel supports, guides and provides assistance for these personal journeys however varied they may be. Shavei Israel opens the door to all who have decided that Judaism and a return to the Jewish people are central to their fate and their identity. Shavei Israel does not proselytize nor does it support any form of missionary activity. Shavei Israel responds to personal expressions of desire to return to Judaism.