Partners for Progressive Israel

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Partners for Progressive Israel
Image logo for Partners for Progressive Israel
Founded 1992[1]
Founders Moshe Kagan
Avraham Schenker
Arthur S. Obermayer
Type Non-profit
Tax ID no. 13-3607222
Focus Civil Rights in Israel, Human Rights and a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict[1]
Area served United States, Israel and the Israeli-occupied territories[1]
Method "public campaigns, symposia, conferences, lectures, street activities, conference calls, and demonstrations."[1]
Key people Theodore Bikel (Board Chair)
Rabbi Israel Dresner (former President, current Vice President)
Harold M. Shapiro (President)
Nathan Hersh (Managing Director)
Mission "To generate and promote partnership between Israelis and Americans who support a progressive Israel."[1]

Partners for Progressive Israel (formerly Meretz USA) is a non-governmental organization and registered 501(c)3 devoted to civil rights in Israel, and human rights throughout the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. The organization advocates a two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, social justice, human rights (especially for ethnic and sexual minorities), religious freedom, and environmentalism.[2]


The ideology behind the organization stems from a merger of two schools of Zionism: Socialist Zionism, and Labor Zionism. Organizationally, Partners for Progressive Israel descends from three different organizations. The first was Americans for Progressive Israel,[3] a Socialist Zionist organization, started in 1947. API was an early advocate for Israeli and American-Jewish dialogue with the PLO (along with like-minded organizations such as Breira).[4] The second organization was the Education Fund for Israeli Civil Rights and Peace. The third organization was the fund-raising arm of the Israeli political party, Ratz, called, “American Friends of Ratz.” In 1992 the three groups merged, creating the organization, “Meretz USA.” In 2011 the organization changed its name from Meretz USA to Partners for Progressive Israel.


Partners for Progressive Israel is the American branch of the World Union of Meretz. The organization’s domestic activities include:

The organization’s activities in Israel include:

  • The Israel Symposium, a week-long trip to Israel. Symposium participants meet with Israeli and Palestinian officials, journalists and activists.