Israeli-American Council

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Israeli-American Council (IAC)
Israeli-American Council Logo.png
Formation2007
Legal status501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
HeadquartersLos Angeles, California
Region served
Arizona, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Colorado, Florida, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco Seattle, Washington, D.C.
Chairman
Adam Milstein
CEO
Shoham Nicolet
Websitewww.israeliamerican.org

The Israeli-American Council (IAC; Hebrew: ארגון הקהילה הישראלית-אמריקאית‎) is an American nonprofit organization that represents and serves more than 250,000 Israeli-Americans across the country. Its mission is to preserve and strengthen the Israeli and Jewish identities of future generations, strengthen the American Jewish community, and strengthen the relationship between citizens of the United States and the State of Israel.[1] As of 2017, the IAC is the fastest-growing Jewish organization in the world.[2]

History[edit]

Israeli Leadership Council (2007–2012)

In 2007, the Israeli Leadership Council (ILC) was founded in Los Angeles by a group of Israeli-American business leaders and philanthropists.[3] The first ILC event was held in July 2007, where approximately 80 Israeli-American business leaders gathered to at the Beverly Hilton Hotel to hear from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Israel's Consul General, Ehud Danoch.[4]

The event was organized by Danny Alpert, Adam Milstein, Eli Tene, Steve Erdman, Naty Saidoff, Eli Marmour, and Shoham Nicolet following a meeting between Alpert and Danoch. Danoch met with Alpert because, when the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles organized a pro-Israel rally in summer 2006, few Israeli-Americans attended the event despite more than 200,000 Israeli-Americans residing in the greater Los Angeles area.[5]

The ILC's first board was co-chaired by Alpert and Tene, and included Milstein, Erdman, Marmour, Saidoff, Shawn Evenhaim, Yossi Rabinovitz, and Nissan Pardo. Shoham Nicolet was asked to volunteer to lead the venture as the Founding Executive Director. They set the organization's "three pillars" of engagement: to strengthen future generations of Israeli-Americans, the American Jewish community and the State of Israel.[6]

The board set six initial goals:

  1. establish a Jewish-Israeli identity within the Israeli-American community
  2. build a Los Angeles chapter as a model for national chapters
  3. establish a stronger relationship between the State of Israel and Israeli-Americans
  4. get Israeli-Americans to engage with the Jewish-American community
  5. foster a culture of philanthropy within the Israeli-American community
  6. involve Israeli-Americans with pro-Israel movements

The Los Angeles office opened in January 2007.[7] By 2008, the ILC grew to approximately 25,000 participants and began receiving support from Beny Alagem, Leo David and Haim Saban. It held its first event, "Live for Sderot", in partnership with the Israeli Consulate to bring educational technologies to schools in Sderot, which was under constant missile attack. The gala had 1,800 attendees and featured videos from 2008 presidential candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain.[4] The ILC also launched project Tzav 8 to involve Israeli-Americans to public support of Israel.

The ILC held its First Annual Gala Dinner in 2009. That year, it also began supporting other Jewish and Israeli organizations and began developing its own programs: Bina, a group of Israeli and Jewish American young professionals, and Sifriyat Pijama B-America (SP-BA), a Hebrew literacy program for children aged 2–8.[8]

Sagi Balasha became the ILC's CEO in September 2011. Under his leadership, the organization launched ILC Care, which to foster volunteerism in the Israeli-American community, and began holding the Celebrate Israel Festival, an American celebration of Yom Ha'Atzmaut (Israel's independence day). Approximately 50,000 people were involved with the ILC by 2013, mostly in the Los Angeles area.[9]

Israeli-American Council (2013–present)

In 2013, the ILC rebranded as the Israeli-American Council[9] and, with major support from Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson, the organization launched a National Expansion Plan, focused on creating regional councils across the United States.[10] By summer 2014, the IAC had a staff of 60 people, an annual budget of $17.5 million, six regional offices, and 150,000 participants, making the IAC the fastest-growing Jewish organization.[11]

In September 2013, the IAC began hosting a national conference in Washington, D.C.[12]

By 2014, IAC Merkaz and IAC Shishi Israel were established,[13][14] as were regional chapters in Boston, Florida, Las Vegas, and New York.[15][16] In October 2014, Adam Milstein became the Chairman of the IAC, and Shoham Nicolet returned as the organization's CEO.[17]

The IAC established regional chapters in New Jersey, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., in 2015, and ones in Seattle, Arizona, and Philadelphia in 2016.During 2017 The IAC established regional chapters in Colorado, Houston, San Diego & San Francisco, and the chepters in Atlanta, Austin, Midwest and Orange County in 2018.[18][19] Those years also saw the launch of IAC Manhigut, IAC Act, and IAC Eitanim.[20][21][22]

By the end of 2018, the organization has 20 regional offices and more than 58 active communities, serving more than 250,000 people.[19]

Organizational structure[edit]

Leadership

National officers[23]

  • Shoham Nicolet, Chief Executive Officer
  • Shanee Feig-Kochlani, Chief Creative Officer
  • Shely Medved, Chief Financial Officer
  • Aya Shechter, Senior National Operations Director
  • Orit Mitzner, Senior National Programs Director
  • Yael Amit, Senior National Development Director
  • Adi Zohar, Senior National Marketing Director

Israeli-American National Conference[edit]

The first annual conference of IAC leadership and Israeli-American community leaders from the United States was held in November 2014 in Washington, D.C. and drew over 750 participants and speakers.[24][25][26]

The fifth IAC National Conference in 2018 was held in Florida with over 3,100 attendees.

Speakers included:

IAC for Action[edit]

Formerly the Israeli-American Nexus, the Israeli-American Coalition for Action (IAC for Action) is a partner organization of the IAC.[27] The IAC for Action is a non-profit, bipartisan organization dedicated to strengthening the US-Israel relationship and making the voices of Israeli-Americans heard by policymakers on a range of issues at the federal, state, and local level.[28]

Key initiatives include supporting economic collaboration between the United States and Israel and advocating for legislation that bars governments from contracting with organizations that discriminate against Israelis by participating in the BDS Movement.[29][28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About the IAC". Israeli American Council.
  2. ^ "The IAC's Third Annual Conference: Embracing a New Identity, Building a Movement and Changing the Jewish Future". HuffPost. October 2016.
  3. ^ "The New Israeli Americans". Moment. January 30, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "The History of the IAC". Israeli-American Council.
  5. ^ "In U.S., Israelis Claim A Foothold". The Jewish Week. New York. May 27, 2015.
  6. ^ "Birthright Alumni at Israeli-American Council's National Conference". Philadelphia Jewish Voice. August 22, 2016.
  7. ^ "Israeli-American Council aims to unite Israeli community in U.S." Jewish Telegraphic Agency. September 2013.
  8. ^ "Sifriyat Pijama B'America brings Hebrew-language reading to Israeli-American preschoolers". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. November 2011.
  9. ^ a b "Israeli Leadership Council changes name". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. March 13, 2013.
  10. ^ "Israeli American Council Announces Major U.S. Expansion Plan". e Jewish Philanthropy. September 11, 2013.
  11. ^ "The IACs Third Annual Conference: Embracing a New Identity, Building a Movement and Changing the Jewish Future". HuffPost. October 11, 2016.
  12. ^ "Romney and Lieberman to Headline Israeli-American DC Event". The Jewish Press. Brooklyn. November 4, 2014.
  13. ^ "New program bonds Israeli and American Jews in Brooklyn Heights". Daily Brooklyn Eagle. September 2, 2014.
  14. ^ "IAC Merkaz". Israeli-American Council.
  15. ^ "Israeli-American Council Opens Boston Office". Jewish Journal. Boston. March 27, 2014.
  16. ^ Jacob Kamaras (October 22, 2014). "Growing organization helps Israeli Americans find their voice". JNS.org.
  17. ^ "IAC names business man Adam Milstein as chair ahead of national conference". JP Updates. September 17, 2015. Archived from the original on January 23, 2016.
  18. ^ "Israeli-American Council Opens Regional Office in Philadelphia". The Jewish Exponent. Philadelphia. August 24, 2016.
  19. ^ a b "Israeli-American Council, Federation launch IAC Arizona Council". Jewish News of Greater Phoenix. November 23, 2016.
  20. ^ "IAC Eitanim: In Their Own Words". The Times of Israel. July 7, 2016.
  21. ^ "IAC Manhigut". Israeli-American Council.
  22. ^ "IAC Act". Israeli-American Council.
  23. ^ "Our Team". Israeli-American Council.
  24. ^ "Israeli-American Council jumps onto national stage with a splash". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. November 2014.
  25. ^ "At inaugural conference of Israeli-American group, a sense of tentativeness". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. November 2014.
  26. ^ "Billionaires Adelson and Saban, at odds in campaigns, unite on Israel and hit Obama". The Washington Post. November 2014.
  27. ^ "Introducing "IAC for Action"". IAC for Action.
  28. ^ a b "About IAC for Action". IAC for Action.
  29. ^ "Getting Political: The Third Israeli-American Council Conference". Moment. October 2016.

External links[edit]