As we round the bend into the final stretch of this year, it is fair to say that Israel’s democracy faces challenges unrivaled in its history. Israel finds itself among a group of countries around the world — from India to Brazil, from the UK to our own struggling republic — battling over the future of liberal democracy itself.
Leading the New Israel Fund at this moment, I feel the immense weight of the responsibility of this challenge, as do so many of us. And yet, at the same time, leading NIF at this time has been the most profound privilege of my career. Our role in defending and strengthening Israel’s democracy is crystal clear — because a vibrant and resilient civil society is essential for Israel’s democratic future.
Israelis of every background are working together to build a stronger, more inclusive democracy. And standing shoulder to shoulder with them gives me pride. Yes, these intrepid, optimistic warriors for Israel’s democratic future instill me with profound hope, even — especially — in the most challenging moments.
But what is equally true, and what I am writing to tell you today is that you, our stalwart and steadfast NIF supporters, you also fill me with immense pride, hope, and inspiration.
In the course of my job as CEO of the New Israel Fund, I travel the country and indeed the world. In each new city, I get to meet with you, to speak to you in your living rooms, in your community centers and synagogues. Invariably — truly, without fail — these moments leave me uplifted.
I leave each place inspired by the remarkable, dedicated and unflagging community of supporters who serve as the engine of support for the New Israel Fund.
We are engaged in something important together. And the task that we have set collectively before us is something none of us can do alone. Your enduring commitment to the values that guide NIF enable us to support Israelis working for the things that we stand for: democracy, human rights, equality and social justice.
These things are the essence of what we do. As 2019 comes to a close, I want to say to each of you that I am so grateful to have you as a partner in this work.