Before we head into the long Rosh HaShana weekend, we would like to bring you up-to-date regarding the transition to our new name, “Partners for Progressive Israel.” (If you missed the original announcement of our name change over the summer, please click here for details.) And we also thought it an appropriate time to review some of our recent activity, share our plans for the year ahead and encourage you to donate generously so that we can bring these plans to fruition.
As we approach the start of 5772, we want you to know that we will be launching a new Partners for Progressive Israel website (www.partners4israel.org – currently under construction) later this fall, which will be accompanied by changes to the look of our emails, and to our Facebook page and Twitter account. We’ll be sure to keep you informed as these changes go live.
We are proud to already unveil our new logo, which will accompany future communications under our “Partners for Progressive Israel” name once our rollout is complete:
Along with our new name, Partners for Progressive Israel is embarking on new projects, strengthening and expanding our mission and goals while continuing to embrace our same core values and progressive vision for Israel: The realization of human and civil rights, equality, and social and environmental justice for all of Israel’s inhabitants in a flourishing democracy, and a durable and just Israeli-Palestinian peace created through a negotiated two-state solution – based on the June 1967 lines with agreed land swaps that will end the 44 year-old occupation.
You can be a part of our renewal. Let your voice be heard!
Our voices can and must strongly influence today’s important debates about Israel. But in order to expand our activities and have greater impact on the American Jewish community and Israel, we need your help now! We are doing some great things that you can be proud of, that you can join, and that you cansupport. For example:
This summer, we already created a buzz with our new weekly demonstration campaign on the streets of New York City – “Netanyahu: Don’t Lead Israel Off a Cliff.” We hope you enjoy the photo album, located on our Facebook page. Our aim is to encourage growing numbers of American Jews who care about Israel’s future to speak up and voice the sane opinion that a two-state solution will create a safer Israel, while also preserving Israel’s democracy by dismantling the occupation.
And we demonstrated near the UN last Friday as Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas addressed the General Assembly, distributing copies of thePartners for Progressive Israel position statement on the Palestinian application for UN membership. We think that you will find our viewpoint both bold and nuanced, a courageous statement that broke from the position adopted by the vast majority of the organized American Jewish community. Please read it and feel free to share with others!
With our UN position statement, we continue our tradition of trailblazing in the Jewish community. Earlier this year, after a long and difficult thought process, we issued our “Buy Israel – Don’t Buy Settlements (They’re not the Same)“ statement, making us the first American Zionist organization to call for a boycott of the products made in West Bank settlements, while explicitly opposing the growing calls to boycott Israel as a whole. On our website you can find a list of items produced in the West Bank settlements that are sold in the US.
Help us create a corps of young progressive American Zionists knowledgeable about and committed to Israel! We are expanding our Intern in Israel Initiative, which provides grants to encourage young Americans to volunteer with progressive Israeli non-profit organizations. We warmly encourage you to read the moving report from our latest Intern in Israel, Jill Slutzker, and then we urge you to donate generously so that we can help many more young people like Jill build a progressive connection to Israel.
Our new Hebrew School Israel education project: If we are to develop Jewish adults who love Israel and are ready to take on the real challenges it faces, we desperately need an Israel education program that is creative, honest, up-to-date and doesn’t paper over the complexity of Israel’s problems. We need to hire a staff person who will develop this marvelous initiative – to design and distribute the high-standard educational materials that teachers are requesting to help them teach about Israel in a more meaningful way. Your donation will allow us to deliver this important program.
As Partners for Progressive Israel, we will also continue to offer our core programs: We’ll continue to run our in-depth Israel Symposium study tour (the next one is tentatively scheduled for October or November 2012), which affords participants unparalleled opportunities – visit Ramallah and meet Palestinian leaders, talk to Knesset members from a variety of parties, go to Hebron to witness and learn about the situation first-hand, and hear from key Israeli and Palestinian opinion-makers, journalists, academics and social activists. Please join us and tell your friends and family about this great trip!
We’ll also continue to bring you speakers and information about issues of concern to the progressive pro-Israel community: We will continue to host cutting-edge activists – like Leah Shakdiel, a leader of the “Tent Protest” social justice movement, who insightfully and charismatically analyzed the origins and development of this countrywide phenomenon for a capacity crowd of our supporters. And we offer in-depth analysis on developments in Israel in our topical e-newsletter, provide a forum for open discussion on our blog, and offer avenues for supporting Israeli groups working to advance our goals – through your donations, for example, we supported the major peace rally held this June in Tel Aviv which called on the Israeli government to take serious steps towards a two-state solution.
BECOME OUR PARTNER NOW!
And right now, your gift can have double the impact through a $20,000 MATCHING GRANT
One of our founders has generously offered us a $20,000 matching grant – for every dollar you give that is over and above the amount you gave last year. In other words, if your gift to us was $50 last year, and $100 this year, then your additional $50 will be matched! So your gift of $100 will now become $150! And if you didn’t make a gift to us last year at all, your entire gift will be doubled by the matching grant!
Please give generously and allow us to continue our efforts to create an informed, involved, pro-peace, pro-democracy, progressive Zionist community in the U.S.
As we enter the new Jewish year, we are all nourished by the sense of hope and new beginnings that this period brings to our lives. We are both hopeful and exceedingly confident that Meretz USA’s transition to “Partners for Progressive Israel” is the beginning of an important and immensely productive new phase for our organization. We welcome you to be a Partner in that effort.
L’Shana Tova – May it be a year of health, happiness and peace for you and your family,
Dina B. Charnin Ron Skolnik
President Executive Director
Partners for Progressive Israel Partners for Progressive Israel
P.S. Donations by credit card can be made on our website or by phone. If you prefer to donate by check, feel free to make your check out to “Partners for Progressive Israel“ – though checks written to Meretz USA will be accepted as well!