Martin Indyk, raised in Australia and two-time United States ambassador to Israel, and Ronni Kahn, founder and CEO of the food rescue organisation OzHarvest, have become inaugural patrons of the Australian branch of the New Israel Fund.
The co-patrons met recently in Sydney and accepted the unanimous invitation of the NIF Australia board, its president, Robin Margo, said this week.
“We are delighted that such high-calibre people support our mission helping Israelis make Israel a better and more just country," Mr Margo said. "Martin’s outstanding international diplomatic record and Ronni’s highly-acclaimed grassroots work in Australia, coupled with her extensive years living in Israel, make them very worthy inaugural patrons of NIF Australia.”
Mr Indyk is the Vice President and Director of the Foreign Policy Program at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC and co-chair with Adv Talia Sasson of the International Council of the New Israel Fund, which now includes Amos Oz, a former Israeli Attorney General, two Brigadier Generals, five Israel Prize laureates, Nobel Prize Laureate Prof Aaron Ciechanover, and many other leading personalities in law, the economy and society in Israel.
Ambassador Indyk holds a PhD from the Australian National University and is the author of "Innocent Abroad: An Intimate Account of American Peace Diplomacy in the Middle East,” and most recently, “Bending History: Barack Obama’s Foreign Policy” (with Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Lieberthal).
Ms Kahn, who lived in Israel for 18 years, founded OzHarvest in 2004, with the dual purpose of feeding those in need and helping the environment by saving good food from going to landfill.
The South African-born activist was named Australia’s Local Hero in the 2010 Australian of the Year Awards. She said she is passionate about helping Israelis building a socially just and democratic Israel in which all its citizens are treated equally.
"I am a firm supporter and believer in the State of Israel, the Jewish homeland,” Ms Kahn said this week. “I want to do all I can to promote the values on which Israel was founded."