Israel is in my blood. I grew up in a home where identification with Israel was taken for granted. When I went off to summer camp, it was to Hebrew-speaking Camp Ramah. For my junior year abroad, the only school I considered was Hebrew University. And when I entered the U.S. Foreign Service, the posting I dreamed of was to American Embassy Tel Aviv. But by the time that unlikely dream came true, the bloom was off the rose.
As Israel’s politics and its ethos drifted steadily to the Right, the ties that had bound me to Israel began to fray. I searched for a hevra devoted to preserving and strengthening the liberal democratic values enshrined in Israel’s Declaration of Independence. I found the New Israel Fund. And so remarkably did NIF’s mission and its vision of what Israel could be coincide with my own that I enthusiastically seized the invitation to serve as the Fund’s communications director. They were the four most gratifying years of my professional life.
Israel is blessed with a plethora of foreign philanthropies that support almost every aspect of civic life, from “Friends of” numerous universities and hospitals to animal welfare to high culture and the arts. All of them contribute to the richness and vitality of life in Israel.
But NIF, with its many grantees, is the only organization dedicated to fostering, nurturing, and sustaining the values at the core of my attachment to Israel: human and civil rights, Jewish/Arab equality, religious pluralism, social and economic justice—all in the face of powerful resistance. But NIF is more than a collection of wide-eyed liberals tilting at Israeli windmills. Taken collectively, the NIF family is nothing less than the bulwark against the forces of Jewish chauvinism and extremism that are leading Israel down to the road to apartheid. For disillusioned progressive Jews questing for reasons not to give up on Israel, the haven you seek is the New Israel Fund. Come join us.
Disclaimer: New Israel Fund is not engaged in legal or tax advisory services. Please consult with your professional advisor as to which giving vehicle is right for you, and when creating bequests, seek drafting and counsel from an attorney.