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Posts Tagged ‘Israeli-American Council’

Thousands “Celebrate Israel” at Pier 94

Monday, June 1st, 2015

More than 8,000 Tri-State area residents, including many Israeli-Americans, celebrated Israeli food and wine at the Israeli American Council’s Celebrate Israel Festival at Pier 94 in Manhattan on Sunday, May 31. The event was intended to show solidarity with Israel, and bridge the Israeli-American communities with a celebration of Israeli culture.

Dozens of exhibitors represented the top faces of Israel, including the Montefiore and Tabor wineries. These wineries showcased many of its best wines and offered guests tastings. As a leading Israeli dairy maker, Tnuva also offered tastings of its top cheeses to those in attendance. Six people won a raffle of assorted Tnuva cheeses.

Thousands enjoyed various musical and cultural performances, including a jazz concert, a children’s performance by Rinat Gabay and a headlining show by RITA. Other activities included Krav Maga workshops, a drum circle, basketball and other Israeli vendors. United Hatzalah, Tel Aviv University and other leading Israeli organizations also participated.

“We wanted to reconnect the Israeli community to itself and to the Jewish community,” said Yehudit Feinstein, head of the IAC’s New York chapter. The CEO of the organization, Sagi Balasha, said that history was made.

“This is the first time that a series of five festivals were organized in five American cities from coast to coast, where 50,000 people gathered to show support for Israel,” he said. “It is very symbolic that while Israel is undergoing a delegitimization assault, the Israeli-American community organized an unprecedented show of support. This is an operation that cost $2.5 million, most of it donated by Israeli-Americans.”

Daniela Berkowitz

Leading Israeli Athletes, Artists, and Innovators Join Celebrate Israel Festival

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York, a wide array of notable Israelis have confirmed their participation, from some of the country’s greatest basketball stars to representatives of several of its most successful start-ups.

Presiding over the basketball court at Pier 94 will be the six-time European and 51-time Israeli league champions, Maccabi Tel Aviv, represented by their legendary players Derrick Sharp, the 15-year Maccabi Tel Aviv veteran and former member of Israel’s national basketball team, and David Blu, considered one of the best Jewish players of all time, with two Euroleague and five Israeli league championships under his belt. Sharp and Blu will host a fast-paced clinic, as well as a two-on-two tournament and a slam-dunk contest for festival-goers of all ages.

Keeping with the athletic theme, the festival’s organizer, the Israeli-American Council (IAC), has engaged Israeli TV star and current sports columnist for the Israeli newspaper Calcalist, Becky Griffin will serve as the event’s host. The daughter of legendary Israeli and Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball star Bob Griffin, Becky started her career as a reporter for Israel’s Sports Channel before moving to London to work as a VJ at MTV Europe.

In partnership with the Consulate General of Israel in New York, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY), and the UJA Federation of New York, the Festival will take place on May 31 at Pier 94 from 2:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m immediately following the annual Celebrate Israel Parade, as an anchor event in a marathon day of events celebrating Israeli culture.

“I am thrilled to be returning once again as the Celebrate Israel Parade correspondent, and am especially excited this year to serve as the first-ever Celebrate Israel Festival Master of Ceremonies,” said Griffin. “I’m a proud Israeli-American, and I can’t wait for the rest of New York to experience the vibrant and warm Israeli culture that I’ve always known and loved.”

Before the Festival’s headliners, Israeli superstar Rita and Rinat Gabay, Israel’s most beloved children’s entertainer, take the stage, Ambassador Ido Aharoni, Consul General of Israel in New York, will open the official ceremony. In addition, on the Blue Note sponsored stage, some of Israel’s finest jazz musicians will be performing, including singer-songwriter Mika Hary and guitarists Nadav Remez, Yotam Silberstein, and Dida Pelled

Those craving more cerebral pleasures will discover them in the Festival’s Tech Pavilion, where a number of technology innovators will showcase their work. Participating in the pavilion are a host of up-and-coming start-ups like Farmigo, a technology company that connects communities to local produce, as well as more established enterprises like Gett, a leader in the on-demand black car industry.

Reflecting the Festival’s diversity and commitment to Israel’s multicultural nature, the Festival’s food court will feature everything from the gourmet breaded chicken cutlets of the Schnitzel Truck to the Mediterranean delicacies of the Shakshuka Truck, with sushi from Sushi Tokyo and frozen yogurt from 16 Handles thrown in for good measure. In addition Tabor and Montefiore wineries, leaders in Israel’s respected wine industry, will be offering tastings of their wines.

“As Israelis living in New York, we know very well just how rich and layered Israeli culture truly is,” said Yehudit Feinstein-Mentesh, the IAC’s New York Regional Director. “For one magical afternoon, we’re thrilled to bring all that richness to New York, and paint the Big Apple blue-and-white for a day.”

The Festival will also include dozens of activities geared towards anyone from young professionals to families, including a petting zoo, a graffiti wall, and a Krav Maga martial arts academy; a singles bar; and plenty of opportunities to experience Israeli food, arts, sports, technology, and culture. Tickets can be purchased online for $5 for children and $10 for adults here.

Jewish Press Staff

Romney and Lieberman to Headline Israeli-American DC Event

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Today, Nov. 4, is election day, and later this week a highly politically-charged pair is appearing in Washington, D.C. at an event for Israeli Americans.

Former presidential candidate Gov. Mitt Romney and former vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Lieberman will headline the first annual Israeli American Council (IAC) National Conference at the Washington Hilton Hotel. Sound like a dream ticket? Certainly a better one for Israel than the current team in the White House.

This first national gathering of Israeli-Americans is intended to solidify the community’s voice and “explore how to strengthen the American-Jewish community, the next generation and the relationship between the State of Israel and the United States.”

Dan Senor, author of “Start-up Nation,” will interview Gov. Romney on Friday evening. The main topic of discussion is expected to be this week’s mid-term election results and the current U.S.-Israel relationship.

This will be the first time Romney will be formally addressing the Jewish and Israeli-American community since the 2012 presidential elections. Hint, hint?

Other heavy hitters at the IAC conference, which will take place between Nov. 7 – 9, include Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban, who will appear on a panel together on Sunday morning.

Other prominent Americans, Israelis and Israeli Americans attending the conference include Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.); Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fl-21); Israeli’s Ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer; Israel’s Representative to the UN, Ron Prosor; Israeli National Security Council member and terrorism expert Dr. Anat Berko; Israel’s former U.N. Ambassador Dan Gillerman; Israel’s Leader of the Opposition MK Buji Herzog; Israel’s brand new Minister of the Interior Gilad Erdan, and many others.

The IAC “seeks to build an engaged and united Israeli-American community that strengthens our next generations, the American Jewish community, and the State of Israel.”

“As Americans and Israelis, we see it as our duty and obligation to strengthen the relationship between Israel and the United States,” said IAC National Chairman Shawn Evenhaim.

“This conference marks the first time that leaders and professionals from the Israeli-American and Jewish communities from across the country are coming together to explore how to build a united and engaged community.”

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Second Generation Israeli-Americans Twice as Likely to Intermarry

Friday, December 6th, 2013

The Israeli-American Council commissioned a study of Israelis living in America.  While not surprising, the results are also not reassuring for those who believe Jewish continuity is a value.

The rate of intermarriage for the children of Israelis who are living in America is 17 percent, which is more than double the rate of their parents’ generation, which was eight percent.

The study, titled, “Israelis and Israeli-Americans Living in the United States: Perceptions, Attitudes and Behavior,” surveyed some 1,660 Israelis in 40 U.S. states. It concentrated on two different cohorts of Israelis living in America: those who have lived in the U.S. for less than ten years, and those who have lived in the U.S. for more than ten years.

Midgam, an Israeli polling company, conducted the survey, with assistance from the Israeli government and several Israeli-American organizations.

The survey also provided information about the Israeli-American demographics. The largest segment of this population – 44 percent – are between the ages of 35 – 44, with the second largest – 20 percent – between 16 – 34 years old. Only 11 percent are older than 65, while 15 percent are between the ages of 45 – 64.

Fewer than half of all Israeli-Americans send their children to Jewish day schools, the survey found. There is an increasing -though only slightly – greater chance that children of Israeli-Americans who have been in the U.S. for a longer period of time will not attend day schools.

In terms of denominational affiliation, The Israeli-American Council survey found that of the roughly 50 percent of Israeli-Americans who regularly attend synagogue, 44 percent attend Orthodox synagogues.

For the remaining Israeli-Americans who attend synagogue, membership is roughly evenly divided between Conservative synagogues – 24 percent, and Reform synagogues – 22 percent.  However, for those Israelis who have lived in the U.S. for more than ten years, there is a substantial increase in the percentage attending Conservative synagogues – 33 percent, with only 17 percent attending Reform synagogues.

The Israeli-American Council‘s goal is to “organize, activate and engage” the more than half a million Israeli-Americans living throughout the United States.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Israel Withdraws Loyalty Survey of Expats, US Jews

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered two Israeli ministries to withdraw a poll asking expatriate Israelis and American Jews about their loyalties.

On Sunday, Netanyahu told the Immigrant Absorption Ministry and the Foreign Ministry to halt distribution of the survey after news reports of its contents were published in the Israeli media.

The Israeli daily Haaretz was the first to report on the poll, which asked respondents where they would place their allegiance in the event of a crisis between the United States and Israel.

The survey was commissioned by the Israeli American Council, a private nonprofit group based in Los Angeles that supports the Israeli-American community. Billionaire media mogul Haim Saban is a prime backer of the council.

Israeli embassies and consulates in the United States were asked last week by the council to distribute the poll via email, according to Haaretz.

The survey is part of the council’s effort to expand in other cities. American billionaire Sheldon Adelson has pledged to help fund the expansion, Haaretz reported.

Respondents to the survey also were asked to what extent they make voting decisions for president or Congress based on the candidates’ attitudes toward Israel, and the impact of American Jews and Jewish organizations on American policy.

It is unclear at what government level the survey was approved or whether Absorption or Foreign Ministry officials checked what types of questions would be asked, according to Haaretz. The survey had the symbol of the State of Israel on its first page.


Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-withdraws-loyalty-survey-of-expats-us-jews/2013/10/28/

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