Press Releases


CONTACT: Naomi Paiss
202-513-7824 phone
[email protected]

Rachael Tanker
Communications Associate
New Israel Fund
(202) 513-7834
[email protected]

New Israel Fund To Hold National Series Of Events

10 October 2007

Washington, DC.  As Israel nears its 60th anniversary, the New Israel Fund (NIF) will challenge progressive Americans to imagine a more just, equitable and pluralistic state of Israel.  NIForum 2007 will initiate a frank dialogue on the choices Israel faces on human rights, social justice and religious pluralism issues.  The national series of events will include a full-day symposium in New York on Sunday, October 21, and other thought-provoking programs around North America, including a half-day symposium in San Francisco on October 28.  The NIForum is the only North American event focusing on social issues in Israel; the now-annual event was inaugurated in New York in 2006.

The New Israel Fund is the leading progressive organization advancing democratic change in Israel and has long been identified with cutting-edge social issues.  NIF CEO Larry Garber commented, “The NIForum will provide the public with an opportunity to debate issues often ignored by other organizations and in other conferences.  The discussions will offer substantive insight into some of the most divisive issues facing Israel today. ” The programs will feature New Israel Fund leaders and activists who are at the forefront of Israel’s social change movement.

The centerpiece of the Forum will be a full day symposium in New York at the Helen and Martin Kimmel Center for University Life at NYU, 60 Washington Square South.  Speakers will include:

  • Naomi Chazan, former member of Knesset and one of Israel’s outstanding leaders in the struggle for civil rights, women’s rights, religious freedom and peace;
  • Eliezer Ya’ari, NIF Executive Director in Israel;
  • SHATIL Director Rachel Liel;
  • Michael Mousa Karayanni, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Law of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem; and
  • Other grassroots activists and leaders

NIForum events include:

Philadelphia: October 17, 7:30 at the National Constitution Center, Independence Mall, 525 Arch Street with Naomi Chazan, professor of political science at Hebrew University and a former member of Knesset; Yuval Yavneh, writer, musician, and activist on behalf of Jewish pluralism; and Yarona Ben Shalom-Richardson, co-director of SHATIL, NIF’s empowerment and training center, in Be’er Sheva.

The National Constitution Center is a non-partisan organization and neither agrees nor disagrees with the views of the New Israel Fund.  The NCC celebrates the First Amendment right of all Americans to express their views.

Washington, DC: October 17, 7:30 at the Irwin P. Edlavitch Building, 1529 Sixteenth Street, NW with Rachel Liel, Executive Director of SHATIL, NIF’s empowerment and training center; Larry Garber, Chief Executive Officer of the New Israel Fund; and Itzik Dessie, Founding director of Tebeka: Center for Legal Aid and Advocacy for Ethiopian Jews in Israel

Boston: October 18, 7:30 at Temple Isaiah, 55 Lincoln Street, Lexington, with Naomi Chazan, Yuval Yavneh and Yarona Ben Shalom-Richardson

Toronto: October 18, 7:30 at First Narayever Congregation, 187 Brunswick Avenue, with Eliezer Ya’ari, NIF Israel Executive Director

Miami: October 22 with Rachel Liel; Jabir Asaqla, coordinator of SHATIL’s National Equal Access project; and Shira Ben Sasson-Furstenberg, Religious Pluralism Project coordinator at SHATIL. For further information contact [email protected].

Chicago:  October 22, 7:30 at Temple Sholom of Chicago, 3480 North Lake Shore Drive, with Eliezer Ya’ari; Nidal Abed El Gafer, an attorney specializing in the housing and education rights of Arab-Israeli citizens; and Ilana Litvak, an Israeli activist focusing on at-risk immigrant youth and Russian immigrant organizations

Los Angeles: October 23 with Ronit Heyd, director of the Social and Economic Justice initiative at SHATIL; Ilana Litvak; and Jabir Asaqla.  For further information contact [email protected].

Seattle: October 24, 7:30 at the Seattle Academy of Arts & Sciences, Art Center, 1100 12th Avenue, with Ronit Heyd, Ilana Litvak and Jabir Asaqla

San Francisco Symposium: October 28, 9:30 am to 1:00 pm at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, 3200 California Street, with Ronit Heyd, Ilana Litvak and Jabir Asaqla, as well as Aaron Back, Ford Israel Fund Director, and Gidon Bromberg, Executive Director of EcoPeace/Friends of the Earth Middle East

For more information, please contact:

Naomi Paiss
Communications Director
New Israel Fund
(202) 513-7824
[email protected]


Rachael Tanker
Communications Associate
New Israel Fund
(202) 513-7834
[email protected]


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