Letter from Yeruham Mayor11 July 2014
Today NIF received the following letter from Yeruham Mayor Michael Bitton. While his city is living under threat of rocket attack, he has found that the citizens are coming together to pitch in and help each other get through this crisis. He credits the Volunteer Center that NIF helped establish in his city for this spirit of solidarity.
Looking behind the curtain of ultra-nationalist zealotry15 July 2013
The bill seeking to defund NGOs that dare criticize Israeli policies has undergone a cunning transformation designed to mask its radically ultra-nationalist agenda; but don't be fooled, it is still a betrayal of Israel's founding principles.
Meet 7 Chanukah Heroes Fighting for Inclusion and Shared Society in Israel18 December 2014
More and more Israelis are saying NO to racist violence, hatred, and exclusion. Meet just a small sample of the amazing people, businesses, and groups working towards an inclusive and shared Israel.
Meeting Points14 November 2014
If I didn’t know better, I would have thought we’d all signed up for a culinary tour of Israel. We started out last week in the Mahane Yehuda market cheese tasting and went into Shabbat fortified with olive oil, wine and chocolate. But as New Israel Fund has deftly managed our study tour, our food forays were as much metaphors as they were realities.
Men and women together at the Kotel 196709 October 2013
By Andrew Kaplan, October 2013
I'm an American who served with the Israel Defense Force in the Golan Heights during the Six Day War. A few days after the war ended, I was in East Jerusalem, which at that time was still under martial law. I immediately went to the Western Wall, which of course, we Jews had not been able to go to since 1948. At that time, there was no big plaza like today. Only a narrow street. It was jammed with soldiers and people, men and women, boys and girls together, praying, singing, so happy together. That's right, men and women praying together at the Western Wall and you know what? It didn't fall down. I enclose a photo I took at the time to prove it.
Message from Daniel Sokatch06 April 2011
Last week, we at New Israel Fund thought long and hard about the now-infamous flotilla action. Israel is in for hard times in the coming months and years. We all recognize frightening trends in Israel that threaten its future as a country that, as its founders' envisioned, is dedicated to being both Jewish and democratic. But that is a vision worth fighting for. Stay with us, and we'll stay with you. And, as always, thank you for your support.
Message from Daniel Sokatch and Rachel Liel06 April 2011
"I know that there are those who have called you traitors for challenging Israeli policy ... As an American, I can only say this: If you are traitors, then Abraham Lincoln was a traitor…”
Peter Beinart at the NIF Symposium on June 28, 2010.
Two weeks ago, we had the privilege and pleasure of welcoming the New Israel Fund Board and International Council to Tel Aviv for NIF’s Board meeting. This was the first Board meeting in Israel for both of us in our new positions, and they came at a critical juncture not only for NIF, but for Israel itself, the US-Israel relationship and the relationship between Israel and the American Jewish community. This context provided an opportunity for NIF and our family of organizations to host a series of events and activities that reminded all of us of why it is we fight so hard, every day, for the Israel we believe in.
There is much more about our Board meeting in this edition of NIF News, but we want to tell you a bit more about one of the most exciting events, a symposium entitled, “Israel: the Only Democracy in the Middle East?” Held in Jaffa, the symposium featured leading Israeli academics, activists and artists in dialogue about the current threats to democracy in Israel, and the need to protect the values of Israel’s Declaration of Independence. The highlight of the conference was the keynote speech delivered by Peter Beinart, the former editor of the New Republic, whose groundbreaking essay about the American-Jewish relationship to Israel, “The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment,” has become the Jewish story of the year. Beinart’s full-throated and impassioned defense of NIF, our values and our sector, inspired the overflow crowd of over 500 attendees, and served as a reminder of why, especially now, NItweF’s work is so important.
For a taste of that inspiration, you can watch the speech yourself. Finally, we leave you with what Beinart "tweeted" to his Twitter list last week: "Flying back from a trip to Israel sponsored by the amazing folks at New Israel Fund. If only they were the face that Israel showed the world." To that we can only say, Amen!
P.S. An important reminder – if you haven’t yet contacted Prime Minister Netanyahu to stop Knesset passage of the Rotem bill, please do it now! Religious pluralism in Israel is at grave risk, and North American Jews are speaking out with one voice. Make sure yours is heard.
Message from Daniel Sokatch, NIF CEO06 April 2011
As I write this, at 36,000 feet somewhere over Greenland, it has just turned 2010 . . . I spent the last week of 2009 on my first working visit to Israel as NIF's new CEO. I return to the States exhausted, but also renewed. And as we say goodbye to a dark decade, I am more convinced than ever that the work that NIF does on the ground in Israel is critical to ensuring that the lights of democracy, equality and, perhaps most importantly, hope continue shine in 2010, and for the next ten years.