Israel both Jewish and Democratic.
For decades, a debate has raged in Israel over whether the country can be both Jewish and democratic. If—when—the Palestinians become a majority and decide to vote the Jewish state out of existence, do we uphold democratic principles or insist on the state’s Jewishness? There is no need to wait for the Palestinians to become a majority; right now they constitute 34 percent among Israeli children, and they will become the largest Knesset faction in twenty years.
What can we do? Clearly, we cannot expel Israeli Palestinian citizens, as some on the Right demand.
The problem has a single solution. It is to have more Jewish people in Israel.
But with Russian Jewry drained and no mass aliyah in sight, how do we increase the Jewish population? The only practical answer: reduce the abortion rate among Jewish women.
This is not about banning abortion or closing pro-choice clinics. But the hard fact of life is, many women who very much want to have a child opt for abortion because of social or financial pressures. Their choice would be to have a child if they could.
Here is where Efrat steps in. We offer these women the help of our volunteers and token financial assistance for their babies. Never, ever does Efrat dissuade women from carrying out with their choices. Rather, we empower women to make the choice they truly want.
And we do so with extreme efficiency. Thanks to an extensive network of volunteers, Efrat’s overhead is very low, less than 5 percent of our budget. Last year alone, we gave Israel more than 3,000 new citizens—a number comparable to the entire Jewish aliyah for that year.
If we had three times our budget, we could bring 10,000 new citizens.