Please visit our calendar regularly to view and RSVP to the many wonderful programs from the JCRCView Calendar
|Thank you for coming to our Brown Bag Lunch with Major General Giora Romm, the Director General of Civil Aviation Authority of Israel! On October 14th, the participants enjoyed a livlely discussion of his time in the Israel Air Force. The Major reflected and answered questions on this experiences as a POW in the 1967 war, his participation in the Yom Kippur War and the way those events shaped his trajectory to this point.|
Stand Strong For Israel
Thank you to the 1,000 members of our Greater Washington Community who joined us in Washington, DC on Thursday, July 17th
We stand strong for peace.
We stand strong for Israel's right to self-defense.
We stand strong for the unbreakable U.S.-Israel partnership.
We stand strong for the people of Israel.
Memorial Service for Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali
Twelve hundred community members of all ages gathered together on July 1st at a community-wide Memorial Service at Congregation B'nai Israel in Rockville to honor the lives of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel, who were kidnapped and murdered.
Thank you to our incredible community who have come together at this difficult time to lift up the fallen and comfort the bereaved.
The service was organized by the JCRC and Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.
Follow this link for pictures and a recap of the service.
The memorial service would not have been possible without the dedication of so many organizations and synagogues in our community. It is a testament to the community that we can come together in times of celebration, and more importantly, lean on one another in times of sorrow. Thank you to the Orthodox Union for supporting the service, and thank you to the following community organizations and synagogues for co-sponsoring the service: Our host B'nai Israel Congregation, AJC, Gather the Jews, Israel House in Washington DC, Jewish Federations of North America, New Israel Fund, Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation, The Israel Forever Foundation, The Israel Project, Tzofim Israel, Adas Israel Congregation, Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Synagogue, Congregation Beit Chaverim, Congregation Beth El, Congregation Beth Emeth, Congregation Beth Joshua, Beth Sholom Congregation and Talmud Torah, Congregation B'nai Shalom of Olney, Congregation B'nai Tzedek, Congregation Har Shalom, Congregation Har Tzeon-Agudath Achim, Hevrat Shalom Congregation, Kemp Mill Synagogue, Magen David Sephardic Congregation, Ohr Kodesh Congregation, Congregation Sha'are Shalom, Shaare Torah, Temple Beth Ami, Temple Shalom, Temple Sinai, Tifereth Israel Congregation, and Tikvat Israel Congregation.
Bring Back Our Boys Vigil for Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali
More than 250 members of the Greater Washington Jewish community chanted, waved signs and withstood the brutal heat in front of the Israeli embassy in D.C. on June 18th to show their support for the three Israeli teenagers who were kidnapped June 12th.
The Israel Action Center Celebrated Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day)
The IAC celebrated Yom Yerushalayim on May 28, 2014 (28 Iyyar), an Israeli national holiday commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem and the reestablishment of Israeli control over the Old City. In June 1967, during the Six Day War, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) defeated significantly larger Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian and Iraqi forces. On June 7th, after fierce fighting, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan declared: This morning, the Israeli Defense Forces liberated Jerusalem. We have united Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. We have returned to the holiest of our holy places, never to part from it again. To our Arab neighbors we extend, also at this hour… our hand in peace. And to our Christian and Muslim fellow citizens, we solemnly promise full religious freedom and rights. We did not come to Jerusalem for the sake of other peoples' holy places, and not to interfere with the adherents of other faiths, but in order to safeguard its entirety, and to live there together with others, in unity. In Israel, Yom Yerushalayim is marked by state ceremonies, memorial services for soldiers who died in the battle for Jerusalem, recitation of the celebratory Hallel prayer in synagogues, lectures on Jerusalem-related topics, singing and dancing and special school programming. Click here to read more information about Yom Yerushalayim.
Rock the Square for Israel's 66th Birthday and Israel Street Festival, Israel @ 66
On May 18th, the Israel Action Center hosted booths at both the Rockville, MD and Fairfax, VA Israel Fests put on by the JCC of Greater Washington and JCC of Northern Virginia respectively. We met members of our community and gave out information about the work we do on behalf of Israel. We also enjoyed some delicious Israeli food and music as we came together as a community to celebrate Israel at 66! Click here to view pictures from both events.
Israel at 66: Spies and Secret Defenders
with CBS News Correspondent Dan Raviv and Israeli Journalist Yossi Melman
|Dan Raviv||Yossi Melman
On May 15th the Israel Action Center hosted Dan Raviv of CBS News and Israeli journalist Yossi Melman, two leading experts on Israeli covert intelligence, as they presented an inside look at how Israel defends itself against a wide array of dangers and challenges. Mr. Raviv, an American with decades of experience abroad, and Mr. Melman, an Israeli expert on the Mossad and covert operations discessed Israel's efficacy in sabatoging Iran's nuclear aspirations and whether this sabatoge will continue to be effective. They covered the current state of affairs in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, and throughout the greater Middle East as well as the relationship between the U.S. and Israel. To view pictures from the event, click here.
The Israel Action Center Commemorated Yom HaZikaron and Celebrated Yom Ha'atzmaut
|Image by Marice G Sy.|
On May 5th, the Israel Action Center observed Yom HaZikaron, Israel's Day of Memorial, which honors fallen Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers and victims of terrorist attacks. The following day, we celebrated Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel's Independence Day. The following links contain information and resources used to mark these occasions:
- Download a special Yizkor prayer said in Israel honoring fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism on Yom HaZikaron.
- Download information about Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha'atzmaut prepared by the JCRC.
- Read about the women honored at the 2014 Torch Lighting Ceremony separating Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha'atzmaut.
- Read a message about the U.S. standing with Israel from U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro.
- View a video of sirens proclaiming a two minute silence during which all activity including traffic ceases marking the beginning of Yom HaZikaron.
- Watch a video of 66 Israeli heroes sharing a message for 66 years of Israel.
- Read Israel's Declaration of Independence
- Watch David Ben-Gurion's Historic Announcement
- Read President Truman's Recognition of Israel
- Watch a video of 24 hours in Israel
- Watch a video of a new take on Hatikvah
An Evening with Ambassador Gideon Meir:
International Media Coverage of Israel During Conflict
On Thursday, April 10th, the Israel Action Center hosted an evening discussion event with Ambassador Gideon Meir moderated by JTA Washington Bureau Chief Ron Kampeas at Congregation Beth El. Ambassador Meir shared his experiences and knowledge from 45 years of service as an Israeli diplomat. The Ambassador has had a distinguished career from his first post working at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC to his position as Deputy Director General of Media and Public Affairs. His career culminated with his appointment as Ambassador to Italy followed by Director General for Public Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.For pictures from the evening discussion click here and for pictures from our lunch with the Ambassador click here.
It's in Our Hands: A Proposal For an Israeli Political Initiative with MK Omer Barlev
On April 1st and 2nd the Israel Action center co-sponsored back to back events at Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation and the JCC of Nortern Virginia with featured speaker Israeli Member of Knesset Omer Barlev. Before joining the 19th Knesset as a member of the Israel's Labor Party, MK Barlev carried out a long and decorated military career. Since his retirement from the military in 1994, MK Barlev ran several successful Israeli high-tech companies and founded "Acharai," an organization dedicated to the empowerment of underprivileged and marginalized youth. As an MK, Barlev sits on the Committee of Foreign and Military Affairs and is the Labor Party's point person on issues of defense and Middle East peace. Barlev has recently published his own political initiative titled "It's In Our Hands." MK Barlev spoke about how to ensure that Israel remains a strong independent and secure Jewish state.
Quotes from the events on April 1st and 2nd:
- “Israel’s paramount goal is that it will be a secure democratic Jewish state with a clear Jewish majority. The second goal is ending the conflict, the result of which will be a Palestinian state.”
- “Israel’s security today has never been so good since the establishment of Israel.”
- “Israel is strong. This is the time to take a calculated risk, while being prepared for a worst case scenario.”
- “Israel must be active about its own future, not passive.”
- “Any agreement that Netanyahu will bring will get widely supported by the Israelis.”
Challenges in a Dissentegrating Middle East:
Thoughts on Israel's National Security with Dr. Dan Scheuftan
On March 27th The Israel Action Center and Magen David Sephardic Congregation hosted an event with speaker Dr. Dan Scheuftan, who spoke about Israel's national security issues. Dr. Dan Schueftan is the Director of the National Security Studies Center at the University of Haifa and the Goldman Visiting Professor at the Department of Government, Georgetown University. He has been a consultant to Israel’s foreign policy and defense establishments and an advisor to former prime ministers Yitzak Rabin and Ariel Sharon, as well as to European and American political leaders. He is the author of numerous books and articles on contemporary Middle Eastern history. For photos of the event Click Here.
- “The support of Israel in America is tremendous (65%-75%). The American people are solidly behind Israel. The UN and European people’s approach to Israel pales next to America’s support. I would rather have the US support Israel versus the rest of the world.”
- “The most positive thing is that Israelis are congregating around the middle of the political spectrum. That’s the healthiest thing that can happen to a society…"
- “Israel currently has no existential threat in the region. There are no conventional armies threatening Israel. The old threats have been significantly reduced.”
- “You can’t imagine how successful and strong the Israeli population is. The willingness of Israelis to live in this neighborhood is incredible. Israelis say that the state of the nation is worse than ever, but they are the happiest that they have ever been. They have a good life. The Israeli economy is in excellent condition; lowest unemployment rate.”
Israel Engagement Fellowship Teen Program
Every Wednesday between February 12th-March 5th the JCRC's Israel Action Center ran it's first Israel Engagement Fellowship Teen Program.The Israel Engagement Fellowship brought together 22 participants from all Jewish denominations from Maryland, DC and Virginia for a four part class. The program was designed by the JCRC and the Jewish Federation of GW to engage our community’s 10th, 11th, and 12th graders with Israel and Israel Advocacy. The students enjoyed the opportunity to engage with Israel in authentic ways: from examining the special relationship our community has with Israel, to learning social media skills, as well as how to be savvy consumers of media and information, and onto preparing these bright fellows to engage in pro-Israel activity on college campuses. These young Jewish leaders serve as an example for their peers and show an exemplary commitment to the continuity of Israel engagement with all members of our community.
Click Here for an article written by an alumni from the program, Sarai Presman.
Click here to view pictures from the Fellowship Program.
Israel and the Next Generation: The Pew Study Results and Successful Models of Young Israel Engagement
On February 4th the Israel Action Center hosted a panel that discussed the results of the recently published Pew research study titled "A Potrait of Jewish Americans". The panelists included Alan Cooperman, Director of religion research at the Pew Research Center, Jonathan Kessler, Leadership Development Director at AIPAC, and Pnina Agenyahu, the Senior Shlicha for Israel Engagement at the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. The panel took questions from the audience, and discussed the challenges that organizations face trying to connect young adults to Israel and the best practices for engaging the youth in Israel advocacy in addition to the survey results. Click here for more details and pictures from the event.
Iran: The Nuclear Threat and Implications for the Greater Middle East
On October 10th and 22nd, the Israel Action Center hosted two Middle East Forum panel discussions in Virginia and Maryland respectively on Iran's determination to develop nuclear weapons and the serious threat it poses to the United States, Israel, and the world. High ranking Congressional officials and senior policy analysts joined the conversation to talk about Hassan Rouhani's charm offensive, why Iran continues to pose the biggest threat to regional and global security, and what can be done to contain this threat. Click here for more details and to view pictures of the events.
IAC Scholar In Residence: MK Rabbi Dov Lipman
MK Rabbi Lipman joined the Israel Action Center as our inaugural Scholar in Residence from September 8-12. In just four short days, he visited four area synagogues, two Jewish Community Centers, met with elected officials, think tank analysts, and the media, visited with college students, and spoke at a program with Christian clergy. The Israel Action Center is proud to have offered our community such a dynamic, positive and hopeful face of Israel for what was a jam-packed week of exciting programs. Click here to view pictures and details of the events.
Environmentalism as a Pathway to Peace
On October 1, 2013, the JCRC, JCC Greater Washington, and Friends of the Earth Middle East welcomed the Israeli and Palestinian Directors of Friends of the Earth Middle East - Gidon Bromberg, and Nader al-Khateeb - for a Middle East Forum onEnvironmentalism as a Pathway to Peace. They addressed Israeli, Palestinian, and Jordanian hydro-politics and sustainable regional development which they hope will lead to the creation of necessary conditions for lasting peace in the Middle East. They also discussed how cross border environmental cooperation can build trust and hopefully create ongoing platforms for dialogue and other meaningful exchanges.
Counter Terrorism at the UN: A Legal Insider's Perspective
On July 9th, the JCRC and American Friends of Tel Aviv University held a Lunch and Learn discussion on Counter-Terrorism at the UN: A Legal Insider's Perspective with Dr. David Scharia, the first and only Israeli to ever work as an expert for the United Nations Security Council. Click here to view pictures of the event.
Middle East Forum: The State of Israel's Economy: Challenges Amidst Growth
On June 10, 2013, the Israel Action Center at the JCRC hosted our most recent Middle East Forum: The State of Israel's Economy: Challenges Amidst Growth featuring Yaacov Fisher, Founder, Israel Business Information Services (I-Biz),the leading interface between the global business community and the Israeli economy. Mr. Fisher discussed Israel's new government, which features freshmen Members of Knesset in the roles of Minister of Finance and Minister Of Industry, Trade, and Labor, the impact of the resignation of Stanley Fischer, the popular Governor of the Bank of Israel, Israel's high housing prices and highly concentrated wealth, Israel's 2013 budget and the lack of workforce participation by the ultra-orthodox and Arab sectors.
Middle East Forum: Israel@65
On May 21, 2013, the Israel Action Center at the JCRC hosted our most recent Middle East Forum: Israel@65: A Panel Discussion on the Achievements and Challenges Facing Israel on her 65th Birthdayfeaturing Ambassador Dennis Ross, Counselor, The Washington Institute For Near East Policy; Kenneth M. Pollack, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, The Brookings Institution; and Barry Bogage, Executive Director, Maryland/Israel Development Center. These experts on Israel's foreign policy, security and economy addressed the successes Israel has achieved over the last 65 years while outlining the challenges Israel is facing in a changing Middle East.
"Israel: Building A Shared Society"
An Issue Forum on Israeli Arabs
On January 27, The Center for Israel Studies at American University hosted a forum on Israeli Arab issues. The event's keynote speech was entitled "Building a Shared Society" and was jointly delivered by Professor Elie Rekhess, Visiting Crown Chair in Middle East Studies at Northwestern University, and Forsan Husein, CEO at Jerusalem International YMCA.
Why Israeli Arabs Are A Jewish Issue
Our latest Middle East Forum was held on the evening of April 18 at the JCC of Greater Washington and was entitled "Why Israeli Arabs Are A Jewish Issue". The event was headlined by Rabbi Naftali Rothenberg, and he addressed the moral and halakhic perspectives on equality in the Jewish state. Following his prepared remarks, Rabbi Rothenberg answered questions on a wide variety of topics.