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A requiem for the name UJA

 

As federation drops ‘UJA’ moniker, it moves in new strategic directions

Federation picks good man to lead — David Goodman, that is

For David Goodman, federation is a family affair.

Goodman is the incoming president of what will be known as the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey.

When he was growing up in Fair Lawn, his parents were active in the Jewish Federation of North Jersey. His first federation leadership role came as a teenager, when he and some friends organized a walk to raise funds for Soviet Jewry.

Goodman left Bergen County to study at Tulane in New Orleans. When he returned to New Jersey and joined his father’s accounting firm, his adult federation involvement began. “My dad introduced me to the people who were his peers in federation. They saw me as a young person who was interested and I enjoyed every responsibility that was given to me,” Goodman recalled. He joined the federation board in 1993.

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David Goodman

“I didn’t know how to say no,” he said.

Most recently, he chaired the committee charged with implementing the federation’s strategic plan. He has been campaign co-chair. And he has helped lead the federation Klene Up Krewe project, which has taken eight trips of federation volunteers to help after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans.

He has also served as president of the Jewish Family Service of North Jersey and was in the first cohort of the Berrie Fellows Leadership Program.

The federation offered more than responsibility.

It gave him his bride.

“Both my mother and mother-in-law have been on the board of Jewish Family Service for a long time,” he recalled. “They never really socialized. However, some years ago, my mother-in-law was chairing a federation Women’s Division event and my mother attended. So did my lovely bride-to-be, Hope. My mom saw Hope talking to her mother. My mother fell in love with Hope and asked her if she was available.

“She actually had a blind date planned, but said if it didn’t work out I could call. And here we are,” he said.

Now, the couple has four children. Three attend the Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County in New Milford; all this past year joined their father as he made phone calls for Super Sunday.

“I wasn’t afraid to pick up the phone and call people and ask them to support something I believe in,” said Goodman.

Goodman’s predecessor, outgoing federation president Alan Scharfstein, said he believes Goodman “is going to be an extraordinary president. He has all the skills and qualifications for this position. He has his heart in the right place and is also a very organized individual who I think will be an extraordinary president.”

And there’s one more family connection to federation. Howard Charish, who served as the federation’s chief executive for eight years until December, is Goodman’s uncle.

“His lifetime of service to the Jewish community is an example for me to follow,” said Goodman. “He just did it on the professional side, I do it on the volunteer side.”

 
 

As federation drops ‘UJA’ moniker, it moves in new strategic directions

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Federation interim executive David Gad-Harf at a strategic planning implementation committee meeting. courtesy UJA-NNJ

It’s not your parents’ federation.

That’s how Amy Glazer sums up the radical change under way at UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey.

Glazer served on the committee charged with implementing the strategic plan the federation adopted a year ago that outlined the transformation.

“It was a thought-provoking, very in-depth process we went through,” she said. “There was a lot of prioritizing, a lot of examining the issues, in deciding the direction federation should go in.”

Not directly linked to the new directions, the federation will be receiving a new name at its annual meeting Tuesday night, becoming the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey. Dropping the UJA name is a response to a branding recommendation from the Jewish Federations of North America, the national organization that stopped using the United Jewish Appeal name more than a decade ago. The annual meeting will also provide an opportunity for the federation to present its new executive vice president, Jason Shames, who will start work next month, and it will bring in a new lay leader, as David Goodman takes over the federation’s presidency from Alan Scharfstein.

What: The annual meeting of UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey, which will change its name to Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey

Where: Federation offices, 50 Eisenhower Drive, Paramus

When: Tuesday, June 14, 7:30 p.m.

“We’ve been trying to change the focus of federation, because we recognize that the world around us is changing dramatically,” said Scharfstein, who assumed the presidency in 2008, shortly before the financial crisis and the collapse of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, two events that had a severe impact on the federation’s campaign.

The result will be a federation different in more than name, say those involved in the planning process.

“All of the credits for the idea of beginning to look at the community differently goes to Alan,” said Goodman, who headed the strategic plan implementation committee.

David Gad-Harf, who has been serving as federation’s interim executive officer and will soon resume his position as the organization’s chief operating officer, explained that the traditional federation model is being stood on its head.

“The traditional model is that we will be supporting a very wide range of Jewish agencies [and] we will be providing funding to those agencies in an unrestricted manner; we will call upon people to donate to us merely because we represent the Jewish community and because their donation can be spread throughout he community. The traditional federation creates value almost exclusively in the funding they transfer to other organizations and not in other ways,” he said.

No more.

In its next allocation cycle, next spring, the federation will begin funding programs, rather than agencies.

It will encourage Jewish organizations to collaborate with each other even as they compete as to who can best advance the federation’s priorities.

The federation’s three core strategies

1. Identifying and funding key communal priorities that respond to critical unmet needs locally and abroad

2. Strengthening local Jewish institutions so that they can better serve the community’s current and emerging needs

3. Engaging more people in Jewish philanthropy to increase both the human and financial resources the northern New Jersey Jewish community can leverage to grow even stronger than it is today.

Source: The federation’s strategic plan

And in another major shift from business as usual, overseas and local agencies will no longer be the domains of separate allocations committees.

Instead, three committees will each focus on one program priority: Jewish education and culture; providing a safety net; and strengthening the connection to Israel.

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s domestic or overseas, it’s where our needs are greatest,” said Goodman.

“We no longer define our community as just North Jersey,” he added. “When we refer to community, we include Israel and around the world. It’s so much easier in today’s world to feel like you’re so close to the people of Israel and the other Jews of the world who are in need.”

“As part of every allocation we will want to understand what the measurables are going to be, what the goals are,” said Scharfstein.

“The value added to the community will be tracked and measured and monitored and compared to the goals set when the allocation was made, so we understand the value our dollars are creating.”

Better measurement reflects a more business-like approach to philanthropy, said Scharfstein.

It also reflects the demands of the younger generation of philanthropists the federation needs to woo.

“Younger donors believe in following their money, they want a seat at the table, and we need to create avenues for them to do that,” said Goodman.

It will make for easier campaign soliciting, federation leaders believe.

“We will be able to cite specific examples of programs that are being funded by federation through their contributions. That’s not something we can do now with any specificity,” said Gad-Harf.

Federation leaders say the new model also provides a better bang for the buck — a serious concern if the federation is to compete with other philanthropies.

The federation’s four communal priorities

1. Promoting and expanding the sense of Jewish identity and belonging in northern New Jersey

2. Enhancing the affordability and accessibility of Jewish cultural and learning experiences

3. Providing for the basic needs of Jews locally and around the world

4. Strengthening the connection of the northern New Jersey Jewish community with Israel

Source: The federation’s strategic plan

“In the past,” said Goodman, “people might say they’re giving $100 to federation, and x percent goes to pay overhead, and the discounted dollar goes to provide benefits and services overseas or locally.

“We don’t want to discount your dollars. We want your $100 to be worth $125 in the community,” he said.

Recent federation innovations are making that a reality, he said.

There’s the Kehillah Cooperative, which consolidates purchasing for 80 Jewish organizations, including synagogues and schools.

“We’ve been able to lower electric bills because we’re purchasing as a larger group. We’re doing that with health benefits, office supplies, and many other things. The community has saved over $650,000 because of federation’s investment in a purchasing agent. How’s that for putting in $100 and getting $125 out?” said Goodman.

Another such multiplying effect will come as the federation helps agencies transition to the new funding process, which will require agencies to write grant proposals for specific programs.

“How many agencies know how to write grants? So we have a grant writer who teaches our agencies how to write grants so they can request funding from federation. But once they’ve learned how to write grants, they can write grant proposals for foundations outside the community, they can write grant proposals for government funding. There’s a value-added scenario for you.”

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This logo will be presented to the community Tuesday night.
 
 

Jews are responsible for one another

Locally, change came first

At the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, change is well under way as a new generation assumes leadership.

With the Adler Family Innovation Fund, launched a few months ago, the federation embraced a new model of spurring communal creativity.

The fund received 70 proposals from a variety of institutions for projects locally and overseas, said David Gad-Harf, the federation’s chief operating officer and for six months its interim chief executive. It expects to announce successful proposals next month, and hopes to have $300,000 in dedicated funding for them.

“The process we’ve been following for the innovation fund is like a test of the way we’re going to be approaching all funding going forward,” he said. “We’ll identify priorities for the community, issue requests for proposals, make selections, monitor performance, and see that the agencies accomplish what they set out to do.

“We’ve been a traditional federation, a federation that raises money in a traditional manner, disburses money in a traditional manner, relates to agencies in a traditional manner. We’ve awakened to the reality that in order to thrive in the future, we have to make changes in all three areas,” said Gad-Harf.

These changes emerged from the federation’s strategic planning process. David Goodman, 47, who assumed the post of the federation’s president last month, led the implementation of the new strategic plan. But Jason Shames, who assumed the role of federation chief executive officer this week at the age of 40, came into the federation with the changes already well underway.

“This isn’t like going out to the O.K. Coral and building from scratch,” he said about his new post. “We have quality leadership, quality staff, and quality institutions.”

 
 

Jews are responsible for one another

David Gad-Harf looks back on six months as chief

Sometimes organizations hiring an interim leader are looking for a caretaker to continue business as usual until the new leader stakes out a new course.

At the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, change was already the order of the day when Howard Charish ended his tenure as chief executive and David Gad-Harf assumed the position of interim executive at the beginning of the year. When he was asked to head up the organization until Charish’s successor could be found, “The clear message was to not be a caretaker but to move the organization forward, since were at such a pivotal point,” he said in an interview on Monday, his first day back as the federation’s associate executive vice president and chief operating officer with Jason Shames at the organization’s helm.

“It wasn’t a quiet time to be the interim executive vice president. But I really feel proud that I’ve been able to play an important role in maintaining, if not strengthening, the organization during a period of intense change,” he said.

Gad-Harf was already intimately involved with the federation’s day-to-day operations as its chief operating officer. He led the strategic planning process that led to the changes under way at federation.

But sitting in the top seat was different.

“I feel like I’ve learned a lot. Part of what I’ve gained is a lot of additional experience in high-end fundraising. These days the executive of a federation has to spend the bulk of his or her time raising funds. It was during this period that we needed to close our annual campaign. I had a lot of additional responsibilities for cultivating relationships with our major donors and bringing them to the point where they were eager to make their donations to the 2011 campaign. It wasn’t foreign to me before then, but I gained a lot of additional experience.

“It also provided me with a broader perspective of our federation as a whole and the role of the CEO within it. There’s an additional kind and level of responsibility that comes with being the top professional in any organization or corporation. You don’t understand or feel it until you’re there, to really feel responsible for the future and well-being of this organization,” he said.

“I really feel fortunate to remain in a position where I can continue to move the federation forward. This is an exciting time to be a professional at the federation. I look forward to being Jason’s partner as we move the federation forward,” he said.

 
 

‘Sign here!’

Petition effort launched against likely unilateral Palestinian statehood bid

Sign here. That is what Jewish organizations across the country are asking people to do in e-mails and up-close-and-personal appeals in advance of next month’s opening of the United Nations General Assembly. In this area, many rabbis have joined the effort, although not everyone is doing so.

Earlier this month, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, in cooperation with the Israel Action Network (IAN), a nationwide Israel-advocacy initiative, drafted a petition calling on the U.N. to reject an expected Palestinian Authority initiative for a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood.

Across the country, rabbis and other Jewish communal leaders have begun to circulate the petition. As of noon on Wednesday, more than 45,000 people had signed it.

While both President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have stated that the United States will oppose the initiative should it come before the General Assembly, local Jewish leaders interviewed this week said that American Jews should not take the U.S. position for granted — and that they should continue to make their voices heard on the issue.

Rabbi Neal Borovitz, religious leader of Temple Avodat Shalom in River Edge and chair of the JCRC of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, said he believes the Jewish community can unite around this issue.

“Support for a negotiated settlement between Israelis and Palestinians [as opposed to] an imposed settlement by the U.N. or any other outside body, is a position we can stand on united, irrespective of other differences,” he said.

Asked whether it is appropriate for rabbis to circulate so political a petition to members of their congregations, Borovitz said yes. In fact, he said, he is circulating the petition to members of his congregation and urging his colleagues to do the same.

“I think there is a very distinct though sometimes hard-to-see line between partisan political activity from the pulpit and standing up and speaking out on issues of social and moral concern,” said Borovitz. “We have the right and responsibility to speak out on issues that impact us.”

Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner, religious leader of Temple Emanu-El in Closter, said he is not sure whether he will circulate the petition to members of his congregation, but if he chooses not to do so, “it will not be because I don’t think rabbis should take a stand, including on political issues. If we don’t, it’ll be because we have 150 things on our plate and this may not be the way we want to go about” standing up for Israel.

That said, he added, “I think it’s an imperative part of our job description to do this kind of thing. Strong rabbis are those who take a stand.… We don’t want rabbis so concerned everything must be pareve — we want to hear what rabbis believe.”

Rabbi Ilan Glazer of Temple Beth El of North Bergen said that he will not promote the petition. He will, on the other hand, discuss it with members of his congregation and “leave it up to individual congregants whether they want to sign it.” He added that, personally, he “would like the petition to go even further to suggest ways we could get the process rolling again. The petition is against unilateral statehood, but what are we for and how do we get the parties back to the negotiating table?”

Only one local Jewish leader who opposes the petition campaign spoke with the Standard by press time.

The leader, a rabbi who wished to be anonymous, said, “I don’t agree with a unilateral declaration, but I don’t think [opposing it] is a good idea,” he said. “Sixty years later, we are resentful the Arab world was against us [when Israel was declared] so for us to go on record opposing [Palestinian] statehood seems like a step backward.”

Hindy Poupko, director of Israel and international affairs at the JCRC of New York, defended the reasoning that led to the petition effort.

“Lobbying efforts are under way to get as many countries as possible to vote against the unilateral declaration of independence,” she said, “but it’s always important to couple lobbying efforts with grassroots initiatives. We felt there was a need for our community on a local and national level to take a public stand against the Palestinian effort to seek unilateral recognition at the U.N. this September. We decided an online petition would give an opportunity for individuals to go on the record to have their voices heard.”

Poupko said that the petition does not oppose Palestinian statehood, only a unilateral declaration outside the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and its potential use as a way to diplomatically isolate Israel.

“The petition is explicit in supporting Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu’s vision of two states for two peoples….[We] believe the only true path to peace is through direct negotiations between the two parties.”

Poupko added, “The success of the petition both in its numbers and diversity of co-sponsors speaks to the degree to which this message has resonance.”

The 73 co-sponsors listed at the bottom of the petition include Coalition of 100 Black Women, an advocacy organization whose membership is composed of “progressive women of color,” according to its Bergen/Passaic chapter’s website (http://www.ncbwbergenpassaic.org); dozens of Jewish federations; JCRCs; and synagogue movements across the United States.

What the petition says

A petition calling on the United Nations to reject an expected call for Palestinian statehood reads, in part: “We, the undersigned, call upon the 193 Members of the United Nations to vote against endorsing a unilaterally declared Palestinian state and to promote the resumption of bilateral negotiations. We are of the belief, as reaffirmed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his May 24, 2011, speech to the United States Congress, that a central goal of direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians is the establishment of two states for two peoples — a Palestinian state alongside the Jewish state in secure and recognized borders. A unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state would serve only to undermine a lasting and negotiated peace agreement and deepen the conflict.”

 
 

Safe from the storm

Jewish community counts its blessings

While Hurricane Irene spread havoc throughout much of New Jersey, area shuls and schools appear to have emerged with relatively little damage.

Among those monitoring the situation is the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, which itself lost power Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning.

“Fortunately, we were fine initially,” said David Gad-Harf, chief operating officer, explaining that federation mobilized its staff immediately after the storm, making calls and sending e-mails to all Jewish institutions in the area.

“I’m glad we had power long enough to reach out to a fairly significant number of institutions,” he said. “What we wanted to do is find out what Jewish institutions in northern New Jersey were impacted, how they were affected, and what kind of support and assistance federation could provide. We also wanted to convey that if there were people in desperate situations, they should be referred to Jewish Family Service agencies.”

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Before Hurricane Irene struck, homeowners up and down the East Coast took precautions, including this homeowner in New Jersey. Robert Cumins

In this effort, federation also utilized social media, sending messages via Facebook and Twitter “to express concern and [urge] that people contact us if anyone was in dire straits and needed urgent help.”

Gad-Harf said his first approach was to area day schools, now preparing for the new school year.

“We were particularly concerned about the Solomon Schechter Day School in New Milford, since the town was flooded,” he said. On Tuesday, he received word that the school’s basement was, in fact, filled with water.

The Bergen County High School of Jewish Studies also reported flooding in its office area, though by Tuesday the water had been removed and was starting to dry out. Also flooded was Ohr Yosef in New Milford, which lost its power as well. It has since been restored.

“In these cases we offered temporary office space in our building until they were back up and running,” said Gad-Harf, “but they concluded they didn’t need it.”

He noted, as well, that according to Elliot Prager, principal of The Moriah School in Englewood, the school initially lost power and internet service but was back to normal on Tuesday.

As part of their outreach efforts, federation professionals contacted synagogues in some 10 areas that experienced flooding. These included Barnert Temple in Franklin Lakes, Beth Haverim-Shir Shalom in Mahwah, Cong. Beth Tikvah in New Milford, Beth Shalom in Pompton Lakes, Temple Beth El in Rutherford, and three congregations in Wayne—Shomrei Torah, Chabad, and Beth Tikvah.

“Thank God, most institutions were spared significant damage,” he said. “Only a few so far have experienced flooding. Several lost electric power, but all of them have had their power restored. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured or lost their home or was thrust into the financial abyss.”

Still, Gad-Harf said Barnert Temple informed him that some of its member families are still without power and could use a generator. Federation will spread the word about that, he said.

He noted also that federation learned on Tuesday that Temple Israel and Jewish Community Center in Ridgewood experienced some flooding. Shul administrator Maureen Nassan reported that the synagogue and surrounding area “was pretty much a lake at first, [including] the parking lot, surrounding areas, across the street, and the basement.” The shul did not lose power, however, thanks to its sump pumps.

According to Nancy Perlman, the federation staff member who spoke with Nassan, “Now it’s just smelly and mucky, but the worst is behind them. They’re suggesting people not park in the lot, as it’s still very muddy.”

Gad-Harf said that Jewish agencies, with one exception, fared well.

“JFS of Bergen and North Hudson lost power but they got it back this [Tuesday] morning and they’re back in business,” he said. “But they continued to see clients on Monday even though they had no power.”

JFS agencies also continued to provide Kosher Meals on Wheels. (This reporter can attest, however, that this was no easy task, since many of the usual routes were affected by the flooding and volunteers needed to be particularly creative.)

“I’m so glad we did this,” Gad-Harf said of federation’s outreach effort, “not just to identify the problems that exist but to make people and institutions know that we’re there for them. Almost everyone—to a person—expressed appreciation. Maybe that sends a message to us that people value being part of a larger whole. They needed moral support from the Jewish community.”

The Jewish Standard received news from other sources, as well.

According to Caryn Starr-Gates, president of Reconstructionist Temple Beth Israel in Maywood, “Surprisingly enough — and it is surprising — RTBI did not take on any water after the storm this weekend.” Gates, like many other shul presidents and rabbis, also reached out to congregants to see if they needed any help.

In an e-mail with the subject heading “Are you OK?” Rabbi Jordan Millstein of Temple Sinai in Tenafly checked in with members to see how they weathered the storm. Wrote Millstein, “I received one very unfortunate report that a tree crashed through the bedroom of a member. Fortunately, she was up and not in the room at the time.” The rabbi noted that the center of Demarest, near his home, was flooded, joking that “The Demarest Duck Pond is now the Demarest Lake.” He also said that he only had a little water in his own basement.

Rabbi Shmuel Goldin, religious leader of Ahavath Torah in Englewood, said things seemed to be “okay here.” Some of his congregants lost power, he said, but “other than that, some fallen trees and some flooding, [there was] no damage to the synagogue and, as far as we know, no other congregations.”

 
 

Bergen Reads needs you… and vice versa

 

Back to school

Looking for supporters

Did you benefit from your campus Hillel experience?

Do you now live in Northern New Jersey?

Did you attend one of the four colleges served by the Hillel of Northern New Jersey?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, the Hillel committee of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey wants your help.

“The people we know who were involved with Hillel have such great memories,” says committee co-chair Howard Chernin. “I’d love to bring all those people together, so Rabbi Allen can talk to them and they can all talk to the students. We would love to get people involved with Hillel activities and events.”

Chernin himself was not involved with Jewish life when he was a student at Fairleigh Dickinson; he is not certain whether there even was a Hillel there. As he moved his daughter into Tulane University last week, however, he was impressed by Hillel’s presence at the New Orleans school.

“We need to look at our program and see how we can improve it,” he said.

Co-chair Lauri Bader also sent her children to campuses with a larger Jewish campus presence.

“There were a lot of Jewish kids, lots of choices, Hillel and Chabad, plus there were so many Jewish kids that they didn’t necessarily need programs,” she said.

“On our campuses here in Northern New Jersey, there are not a lot of Jewish kids, and no other programs. Hillel is it. If you want to be connected to other Jewish kids and be doing Jewish things, Hillel is the only way to go,” she said.

To join the Hillel committee, or to find out how to get involved, contact Rabbi Ely Allen at (201) 820-3905 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

 
 

A new shaliach in town

Segal-Elad looks forward to creating community ‘roundtable’

Avinoam Segal-Elad is not new to the United States.

The community’s new director of the Center for Israel Engagement and community shaliach, based at the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, has a cousin in Teaneck and parents who made aliyah from the United States in 1973, after the Yom Kippur War.

For the past few years, he and his wife, Havi — the couple have two children with one on the way — have spent the High Holy Days in Westchester, N.Y., where he has served as chazan.

“I love to sing,” he said. “I love davening.”

Segal-Elad took up his position two weeks ago and will serve for two years. He said he was in “constant contact” with people in the community for the past few months, in order to hit the ground running.

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Israel is “rich in Jewish life and beautiful things are happening,” says the community’s new shaliach, Avinoam Segal-Elad.

“I have an American background,” he said. “My father is a Conservative rabbi and held several major positions in the Conservative movement. I grew up what you call ‘Conservadox,’ attending Orthodox elementary schools and studying for a year at a yeshivah before the army. I’m comfortable in both movements.”

One of the things Segal-Elad brings to his position “is a willingness to accept everyone as they are. We need to send out that message.”

“It’s amazing to see how much is going on here when we’re talking about rich Jewish life and [programs about] Israel.”

In Israel, he worked as a lawyer, serving in the attorney general’s office in Jerusalem and dealing with public law. He and his wife were looking for a change, however. “We wanted to do something significant and then go back,” he said.

His goal as shaliach, he said, will be to establish a kind of “roundtable, to bring people from all congregations, JCCs, and schools to think together about how we can reach people who are not participating — how we can collaborate, enlarge our influence, and strengthen Jewish identity.”

Segal-Elad praised the Birthright Israel model, premised on the notion that strengthening one’s connection to Israel strengthens Jewish identity.

“I don’t believe every Jew should make aliyah,” he said. “The main thing about a closer connection with Israel is to strengthen Jewish identity and reach those not involved.”

The shaliach said he worked with a few Birthright trips and saw the effects of that philosophy.

“It’s a different thing when you go, when you meet Israelis,” he said, noting that this also helps “normalize” the image of Israel, which too often is portrayed as a country in constant conflict. “I want to show that Israel is more than a country with a strong army and in conflict. It’s also a normal place with young people struggling to pay their mortgage.”

He sees the country’s social justice protests — which began in July and drew thousands of young Israelis from a variety of socio-economic and religious backgrounds — as a particularly positive example.

“The demonstration was an opportunity to see a different kind of Israel,” he said. “That’s normal and beautiful to see.”

Hearing the news reports and reading newspapers gives a “wrong perspective,” he said. It shows a “dangerous place to be in — riots, conflict, war. We have some of that, but most is normal life. It’s rich in Jewish life and beautiful things are happening.”

In addition to his planned roundtable, he said, the Israel center will continue its Israeli film festival. He also cited the community’s ongoing connection with the city of Nahariya, including interactive projects among schools in both countries.

 
 
 
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