Dear friend --
Gershom Gorenberg provided a clear message when he recently spoke to NIF audiences in Melbourne and Sydney. And while the message is not radical or new, it was sobering but also galvanising to hear these words from a person who has spent so many years researching these issues and refining his views.
His conclusions were compelling - to preserve its democratic character Israel must strengthen and protect the rights of minorities, begin the difficult work of separating religious institutions from the state, and draw a line in the settlement project.
We believe it is critical to broaden the conversation about Israel that takes place here among Israel's supporters. But we also have to ask what we can do to contribute to the long-term viability of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.
If you have not done so recently, please donate whatever you can to New Israel Fund Australia Foundation prior to the end of this year. Your donation will help to promote our work and to empower NIF grantees in Israel who are working on the ground to further human rights, civil liberties, religious pluralism and democracy.
Details on how to donate can be found at www.nif.org.au/donate.
Please tell your family and friends about our work here and in Israel, involve them in this conversation, and stay tuned for news about NIF Australia in 2013.
Chag Hanukah sameach,
President, New Israel Fund Australia Foundation
p.s. On Tuesday night in Melbourne, NIF board member Mandi Katz will be speaking on a panel with Aziz Abu Sarah, a Palestinian peace activist, born and raised in Jerusalem. Aziz has extensive experience with peace building organisations, now works as a journalist and lecturer, and is highly regarded as a speaker on the subject of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, peace, reconciliation, and interfaith dialogue. The subject of the panel discussion is the role of non government organisations in building civil society and conflict resolution.
p.p.s. Anyone who missed hearing Gershom Gorenberg can see video from one of his lectures on our website.