America’s Voices in Israel (AVI), founded by Malcolm Hoenlein, has appointed David Schizer, the Dean Emeritus of Columbia Law School, as its new President. AVI organizes week-long missions to the Jewish State, which have been attended by prominent headline-makers, including leading journalists, prime-time media and Hollywood TV stars, as well as religious and political leaders in the Latino and African- American communities. Participants have described these missions as “fascinating” and even “life-changing,” while the Israeli government has also recognized the value of these trips. During the course of AVI’s week-long treks, visitors meet with a wide variety of politicians and academics. They offer a broad range of perspectives, since these missions are non-partisan.
“America’s Voices in Israel plays a vital role in educating prominent Americans about Israel,” Professor Schizer said. “Once they visit this remarkable country, they develop a more informed and sophisticated understanding of the extraordinary promise, as well as the complex challenges, that define life in Israel today. AVI provides new visitors with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I am honored to be involved.”
Professor Schizer is already involved in bringing academics and legal experts to Israel several times a year for conferences organized by Columbia Law School’s Center for Israeli Legal Studies. “For many American academics, these conferences are their first encounter with colleagues in Israel who work in their fields, and also with Israeli society in general,” he said. “The experience is intellectually engaging, fun, and memorable.”
“That so accomplished and distinguished a leader as Professor Schizer has assumed this responsibility, reflects the tremendous achievements of America’s Voices and the recognition of its growth in recent years,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
AVI Director Irwin Katsof said, “We are fortunate to have such a remarkable and accomplished individual as our new president.”
The appointment also received praise from leading members of Israel’s diplomatic corps in the US, who work closely with AVI on a variety of issues. Ron Dermer, Israel’s Ambassador to Washington, DC, said, “America’s Voices in Israel has played an important role in bringing leading journalists and celebrities to Israel for many years. I congratulate David, who is also the Co-founder and Co-Director of Columbia Law School’s Center for Israeli Legal Studies, for taking over as President of America’s Voices in Israel.”
Danny Danon, Israel’s UN envoy remarked, “It is so encouraging for me to see such an outstanding leader as Professor Schizer assume the role of President of America’s Voices in Israel. America’s Voices is a leader in educating Americans about Israel and has brought so many important groups to Israel.”