|Who’s doing what in and for Israel?|
|By Voice & Herald Staff|
|Friday, 21 January 2011 00:00|
Organizations’ stories, in a nutshell
Do you find yourself confused by the alphabet soup of organizations with an interest in Israel? Having a hard time keeping up with which organization is advocating what position on Israel?
While this information will not answer every question you might have about Israel, we’ve identified some organizations whose focus is Israel, and provided some brief information about each. In an effort to be uniformly fair, we’ve allocated comparable word space to each such organization’s description, which comes from the respective Web site.
Tag line: America’s pro-Israel lobby
For more than 50 years, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has worked to help make Israel more secure by ensuring that American support remains strong. From a small pro-Israel public affairs boutique in the 1950s, AIPAC has grown into a 100,000-member national grassroots movement.
AIPAC’s annual policy conference, which draws thousands of attendees and marquee name speakers, is where pro-Israel activists influence policy, strengthen the bond between the United States and Israel and ensure that Israel remains strong, vibrant and free.
As America’s leading pro-Israel lobby, AIPAC works with both Democratic and Republican political leaders to enact public policy that strengthens the vital U.S.-Israel relationship. With the support of its members nationwide, AIPAC works with Congress and the Executive Branch on numerous critical initiatives – from securing vital foreign aid for Israel to passing legislation aimed at stopping Iran’s illicit nuclear program.
Basic membership annual fee: $50; this fee and any other donations are not tax deductible.
For more information, visit www.aipac.org.
Tag line: Securing America, Strengthening Israel
The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) provides leadership on national security and foreign policy issues, promotes American security cooperation with democratic countries including – but not limited to – Israel, engages the American defense community about Israel’s role in securing democratic interests in the Middle East and improves the Jewish and general communities’ awareness of the importance of a strong American defense capability.
Founded more than 30 years ago, JINSA is a non-profit, non-partisan and non-sectarian educational organization committed to explaining the need for a prudent national security policy for the U.S., addressing the security requirements of the U.S. and Israel and strengthening the strategic cooperation relationship between the two democracies.
JINSA sponsors trips to Israel for U.S. military officials and arranges interchanges between Pentagon officials and Jewish community leadership.
Contributions are tax deductible.
For more information, visit www.jinsa.org.
Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI)
For more than 80 years, the Jewish Agency for Israel has served as the link between the Jewish people and Israel, working to ensure the future of a connected, committed, global Jewish people with a strong Israel at its center. Together, it helped create and build the nation and brought more than 3 million Jews to Israel.
Today, it continues its work to secure the Jewish future. As it brings more olim (immigrants) and is prepared as the Jewish world’s first responder to crises in Israel and around the world, JAFI is redirecting its primary focus toward Jews’ greatest challenge – strengthening the Jewish identity of young Jews in both the diaspora and Israel. The solutions to local and overseas challenges facing Jews around the world depend on revitalizing a strong sense of Jewish community, which has faded over the last generation.
Contributions to JAFI, one of the Alliance’s overseas partners, are tax deductible.
For more information, visit www.jafi.org.
Tag line: The new address for Middle East peace and security
J Street, the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans, gives political voice to supporters of Israel who, informed by their progressive and Jewish values, believe a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is essential to Israel’s survival as the national home of the Jewish people and as a vibrant democracy. It advocates for urgent American diplomatic leadership to achieve a two-state solution and a broader comprehensive peace.
J Street represents Americans, primarily but not exclusively Jewish, who support Israel and its desire for security as the Jewish homeland, and the Palestinians’ right to a sovereign state of their own – two states living side-by-side in peace and security. J Street believes ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is in everyone’s best interest – Israel, the U.S., the Palestinians and the region.
Donations to J Street are not tax deductible; those to J Street Education Fund are tax deductible.
For more information, visit www.jstreet.org
Seeds of Peace
Tag line: Empowering leaders of the next generation since 1993
Founded in 1993 by journalist John Wallach, Seeds of Peace is dedicated to empowering young leaders from regions of conflict with the leadership skills required to advance reconciliation and coexistence.
Over the last 18 years, Seeds of Peace has intensified its impact, dramatically increasing the number of participants, represented nations and programs.
From 46 Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian teenagers in 1993, the organization has expanded its programming to include young leaders from South Asia, Cyprus and the Balkans. Its leadership network now encompasses over 4,300 young people. Currently, the organization is actively working in the Middle East and South Asia.
Seeds of Peace’s program begins at its summer Camp in Maine and continues through year-round regional initiatives. These include ongoing dialogue meetings, conferences, workshops, educational and professional opportunities, and an adult educators program. Sustained engagement allows participants to develop lasting empathy, respect, and confidence, and equips them with the communication and negotiation skills necessary to advance peace.
Contributions are tax deductible.
For more information, visit www.seedsofpeace.org.
The David Project
Tag line: Educating voices for Israel.
The David Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating and inspiring strong voices for Israel through dynamic educational seminars, workshops, and curricula. Its Israel education curricula are taught in more than 130 Jewish high schools and middle schools, impacting thousands of students across North America and Israel.
Each year, The David Project educates and prepares hundreds of college students to assume leadership roles and bring Israel programs and events to their college campuses. The organization is guided by a commitment to provide students and adults with the knowledge, strategies and skills to ensure that effective support for Israel thrives on campuses and in our communities.
Its values include support for Israel, diversity of perspectives, Israel in Jewish identity, the importance of young people, education and advocacy and strategic partnerships.
Donations are tax deductible.
For more information, visit www.thedavidproject.org.
And, we will also attempt to interview key officials from many of these nonprofit organizations for fuller, more comprehensive stories.