Israeli-American Council

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Israeli-American Council (IAC)
Israeli-American Council Logo.png
Formation 2007
Legal status 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
Headquarters Los 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
Website www.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.[8] 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.[9]

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.[10]

Israeli-American Council (2013–present)

In 2013, the ILC rebranded as the Israeli-American Council[11] 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.[12] 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.[13][14]

In September 2013, the IAC began hosting a national conference in Washington, D.C.[15]

By 2014, IAC Merkaz and IAC Shishi Israel were established,[16][17] as were regional chapters in Boston, Florida, Las Vegas, and New York.[18][19] In October 2014, Adam Milstein became the Chairman of the IAC, and Shoham Nicolet returned as the organization's CEO.[20]

The IAC established regional chapters in New Jersey, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., in 2015, and ones in Seattle, Arizona, and Philadelphia in 2016.[21][22] Those years also saw the launch of IAC Manhigut, IAC Act, and IAC Eitanim.[23][24][25]

As of March 2017, the organization has 15 regional offices and activities in 27 states, serving more than 250,000 people.[26]

Organizational Structure[edit]

Leadership

National Officers[27]

  • Shoham Nicolet, Chief Executive Officer
  • Shanee Feig-Kochlani, Chief Creative Officer
  • Shely Medved, Chief Financial Officer

Regional Directors[28]

  • Yoni (Jonathan) Ari, Philadelphia
  • Shahar Edry, Arizona
  • Sharon Eyny, New York
  • Erez Goldman, Los Angeles
  • Ronit Gudes Totah, Washington D.C.
  • Lital Hasak, Chicago
  • Nir Lerman, Florida
  • Lital Carmel, Boston
  • Noa Peri-Jensch, Las Vegas
  • Aya Shechter, New Jersey
  • Tali Brauman, Colorado
  • Guy Cohen, Houston
  • Oz Laniado, San Diego
  • Tal Goldman, San Francisco
  • Vered Merzer Sapir, Seattle
  • Shaked Angel, Atlanta

2017 National Board of Directors[29]

  • Adam Milstein, Chairman
  • Danny Alpert, Chairman Emeritus
  • Shawn Evenhaim, Chairman Emeritus
  • Dr. Avi Almozlino
  • Gilly Arie
  • Rani Ben-David
  • Rachel Chafetz
  • Tamir Cohen
  • Rachel N. Davidson
  • Iris Hami
  • Yossi Rabinovitz
  • Naty Saidoff
  • Miri Shepher
  • Jacky Teplitzky

Regions

The IAC Headquarters identifies local lay leaders in new regions to serve on Regional Councils, which function as each region's local board.[30] In each region, the IAC establishes an office headed by a professional Regional Director that coordinates between the Regional Council and the IAC Headquarters. Regional offices offer a combination of national programs as well as customized local programming. Each IAC regional office also supports local initiatives and organizations that share IAC's mission and community objectives.[31]

  • Arizona (est. 2016)[32]
  • Boston (est. 2014)[33]
  • Chicago (est. 2015)[34]
  • Florida (est. 2014)[35]
  • Las Vegas (est. 2014)[36]
  • Los Angeles (est. January 2007)[37]
  • New Jersey (est. 2015, population served approx. 6,000)[38]
  • New York (est. May 2014, population served about 15,000–16,000)[39]
  • Philadelphia (est. June 2016, population served about 20,000)[40]
  • Seattle (est. March 2016)[41]
  • Washington, D.C. (est. September 2015, population served about 4,000)[42]
  • San Francisco (est 2017)[43]
  • San Diego (est 2017)[44]
  • Houston (est. 2017)[45]
  • Colorado (est. 2017)[46]
  • Atlanta (est. 2018)[47]

Programs

The IAC offers programming to develop and maintain a strong connection to Israeli-Americans' Israeli heritage, Jewish identity, and ties to the State of Israel. Additionally, it offers cultural, educational, leadership, advocacy, and family programming in both Hebrew and English for all age groups.[48]

Current programs:

  • Celebrate Israel Festival: A festival to celebrate Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day). (est. 2011, approx. 50,000 participants)[49][50]
  • IAC Act (formerly IAC Advocacy): Tools and training to help support Israeli-Americans become effective advocates for Israel in their communities, workplaces, on social media and on campuses. (est. 2016, approx. 1,200 participants)[51]
  • IAC Young Professionals Programs: A group of programs, including IAC Bina and IAC Talks, for Israeli-Americans and American Jews in their 20s and 30s.(est. 2010, approx. 2000 participants)[52][53]
  • IAC Mishelanu: A college campus leadership program that allows Israeli-American students on campus to meet, explore their Israeli-Jewish identity and their connection to the State of Israel.(est. 2011, approx. 1,000 participants)[54]
  • IAC Keshet: A Hebrew after school immersion and dual language program for Hebrew speaking and non-Hebrew speaking children. KesheTOT is the sister program to IAC Keshet that is tailored for toddlers. (est. 2016)[55]
  • IAC Beyachad: A program that helps, guide, and support volunteer leaders to develop a series of grassroots events within the Israeli-American community that strengthen cultural identity. (approx. 13,000 participants)[56]
  • IAC Eitanim: A project-based program for high school students to develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills that began in 2016. Israeli-American professionals serve as mentors. The program includes a summer "Hackathon" in Los Angeles. (est. 2016, approx. 600 participants)[57]
  • IAC Gvanim: A leadership program exploring the Israeli-American and Jewish identities that helps participants address the challenges of the next generation through an in-depth learning process. (est. 2015)[58]
  • IAC Merkaz: An initiative to open Israeli-American community centers. Currently in Los Angeles, Florida, Boston and New Jersey. (est. 2014)[59]
  • IAC Shishi Israeli: An Israeli Shabbat dinner for Israeli and Jewish Americans that includes Piyutim, Shira Betzibur (sing-along) and educational activities for kids. Approximately 5,000 participants—40 percent of whom are Jewish Americans and 60 percent of whom are Israeli-Americans. (est. 2014, approx. 5,000 participants—40 percent of whom are Jewish Americans and 60 percent of whom are Israeli-Americans.)[60]

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.[61][62][63] The second annual conference in 2015 attracted 1,300 attendees.[64]

At the third conference in 2016, more than 220 speakers addressed 2,100 attendees in four plenaries and 39 panels.[65]

Speakers included:[66][67][68]

Former Fox anchor Greta Van Susteren received the IAC's Fair and Honest Reporting Award at the 2016 conference.[69]

The forth IAC National Conference in 2017 was held in Washington DC with over 3,000 attendees.

Speakers included:[70][71]

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.[72] 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.[73]

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.[74][75]

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. ^ "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. ^ "The History of the IAC". Israeli-American Council. 
  9. ^ "Sifriyat Pijama B'America brings Hebrew-language reading to Israeli-American preschoolers". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. November 2011. 
  10. ^ "Israeli Leadership Council changes name". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. March 13, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Israeli Leadership Council changes name". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. March 13, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Israeli American Council Announces Major U.S. Expansion Plan". e Jewish Philanthropy. September 11, 2013. 
  13. ^ "The IACs Third Annual Conference: Embracing a New Identity, Building a Movement and Changing the Jewish Future". HuffPost. October 11, 2016. 
  14. ^ "The History of the IAC". Israeli-American Council. 
  15. ^ "Romney and Lieberman to Headline Israeli-American DC Event". The Jewish Press. Brooklyn. November 4, 2014. 
  16. ^ "New program bonds Israeli and American Jews in Brooklyn Heights". Daily Brooklyn Eagle. September 2, 2014. 
  17. ^ "IAC Merkaz". Israeli-American Council. 
  18. ^ "Israeli-American Council Opens Boston Office". Jewish Journal. Boston. March 27, 2014. 
  19. ^ Jacob Kamaras (October 22, 2014). "Growing organization helps Israeli Americans find their voice". JNS.org. 
  20. ^ "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. 
  21. ^ "Israeli-American Council Opens Regional Office in Philadelphia". The Jewish Exponent. Philadelphia. August 24, 2016. 
  22. ^ "Israeli-American Council, Federation launch IAC Arizona Council". Jewish News of Greater Phoenix. November 23, 2016. 
  23. ^ "IAC Eitanim: In Their Own Words". The Times of Israel. July 7, 2016. 
  24. ^ "IAC Manhigut". Israeli-American Council. 
  25. ^ "IAC Act". Israeli-American Council. 
  26. ^ "Israeli-American Council, Federation launch IAC Arizona Council". Jewish News of Greater Phoenix. November 23, 2016. 
  27. ^ "Our Team". Israeli-American Council. 
  28. ^ "Our Team". Israeli-American Council. 
  29. ^ "Board of Directors". Israeli-American Council. 
  30. ^ "Regional Councils". Israeli-American Council. 
  31. ^ "Israeli-Americans' New Normal: 'Inbetweenish'". The Jewish Week. New York. April 2017. 
  32. ^ "Israeli-American Council, Federation launch IAC Arizona Council". Jewish News of Greater Phoenix. November 2016. 
  33. ^ "Israeli-American Council Opens Boston Office". Jewish Journal. Boston. March 27, 2014. 
  34. ^ "IAC Chicago". Israeli-American Council. 
  35. ^ "Israeli-American organization extending to Florida". Sun Sentinel. February 10, 2014. 
  36. ^ "Israeli American Council expands to Vegas". The Jerusalem Post. April 4, 2014. 
  37. ^ "IAC Los Angeles". Israeli-American Council. 
  38. ^ "N.J. branch of Israeli-American Council opens Paramus headquarters". Jewish Standard. Teaneck, N.J. January 2, 2015. 
  39. ^ "Israeli American Council to open New York regional office". The Jerusalem Post. May 19, 2014. 
  40. ^ "Israeli-American Council Opens Regional Office in Philadelphia". The Jewish Exponent. Philadelphia. August 2016. 
  41. ^ "IAC Seattle". Israeli-American Council. 
  42. ^ "IAC goes to Washington ... and plans to stay". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. March 4, 2015. 
  43. ^ "IAC San Francisco". Israeli-American Council. 
  44. ^ "IAC San Diego". Israeli-American Council. 
  45. ^ "IAC Houston". Israeli-American Council. 
  46. ^ "Israeli American Council Announces Major U.S. Expansion Plan". eJewishPhilanthropy. September 2013. 
  47. ^ "IAC Atlanta". Israeli-American Council. 
  48. ^ "IAC National Programs". Israeli-American Council. 
  49. ^ "Celebrate Israel Festival Kicks off Throughout U.S." The Jerusalem Post. May 8, 2017. 
  50. ^ "Celebrate Israel Festival". Israeli-American Council. 
  51. ^ "IAC ACT". Israeli-American Council. 
  52. ^ "Israeli American Council Announces Major U.S. Expansion Plan". eJewishPhilanthropy. September 2013. 
  53. ^ "IAC Talks". Israeli-American Council. 
  54. ^ "Creating Campus Maccabees". The Jerusalem Post. February 2, 2015. 
  55. ^ "Israeli Americans as Game Changers". The Times of Israel. June 13, 2017. 
  56. ^ "IAC Beyachad". Israeli-American Council. 
  57. ^ "Israeli-American Council (IAC)'s Eitanim program will hold a first-of-its-kind hackathon". Westside Today. Los Angeles. June 7, 2016. 
  58. ^ "IAC Manhigut". Israeli-American Council. 
  59. ^ "Israeli Americans as Game Changers". The Times of Israel. June 13, 2017. 
  60. ^ "Israeli Americans as Game Changers". The Times of Israel. June 13, 2017. 
  61. ^ "Israeli-American Council jumps onto national stage with a splash". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. November 2014. 
  62. ^ "At inaugural conference of Israeli-American group, a sense of tentativeness". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. November 2014. 
  63. ^ "Billionaires Adelson and Saban, at odds in campaigns, unite on Israel and hit Obama". The Washington Post. November 2014. 
  64. ^ "An unprecedented experience at 2nd Annual National Israeli-American Council Conference". Jewish News. Virginia. November 20, 2015. 
  65. ^ "IAC National Conference Marks Transformative Moment for Israeli-American Community as 2,100 Gather in Washington, D.C." The Cutting Edge News. September 27, 2016. 
  66. ^ "IAC National Conference Marks Transformative Moment for Israeli-American Community as 2,100 Gather in Washington, D.C." The Cutting Edge News. September 27, 2016. 
  67. ^ "Birthright Alumni at Israeli-American Council's National Conference". Philadelphia Jewish Voice. August 22, 2016. 
  68. ^ "AP National News Calendar". Associated Press. September 2016. 
  69. ^ "IAC National Conference Highlights". Arizona Jewish Life. September 26, 2016. 
  70. ^ "Ambassador Nikki Haley to Speak at Fourth Annual Israeli-American Council National Conference". Business Wire. September 28, 2017. 
  71. ^ "IAC 2017 National Conference Speakers". IAC. 
  72. ^ "Introducing "IAC for Action"". IAC for Action. 
  73. ^ "About IAC for Action". IAC for Action. 
  74. ^ "Getting Political: The Third Israeli-American Council Conference". Moment. October 2016. 
  75. ^ "About IAC for Action". IAC for Action. 

External links[edit]