Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s November 10 announcement at the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly about a joint Israeli governmental/Jewish Agency program that is investing “in strengthening Reform and Conservative communities within Israel” has left many in the Jewish World scratching their heads.

Was his statement elaborating on a roundtable announced in July, after Religious Affairs Minister David Azoulay’s controversial remarks about the status of Reform Jews? Then, it was reported that the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem had convened a roundtable of representatives from Jewish religious movements and government ministries to address the concerns of the Reform, Conservative and Modern Orthodox movements in Israel.