My dream – a fair Israeli-Palestinian settlement – began in 1967, as a news correspondent in Israel and Jordan, continued through a Harvard Law dissertation, 30 State Department years and 17 as International Crisis Group vice-president.
I admire Israel (not uncritically), and believe its security is a fundamental US interest, but only peace fair also for Palestinians can guarantee its security and democracy. I joined in 2014, convinced by Jeremy Ben-Ami that J Street is the pre-eminent organization working in that spirit and making relevant progress within the American Jewish community and political system.
I lead and fund a project bringing Israeli and Palestinian students to study at US and foreign prep schools, then continue to graduate from Israel’s Givat Haviva International School. Our goal is stronger person-to-person ties, ultimately for support of a two-state settlement.
I ask for your vote so I can work most productively for my dream and J Street by contributing diplomatic and governmental/political expertise. I would help us stand effectively for liberal Jewish values domestically and on Israel-Palestine, but also for a broader peace strategy emphasizing building down Saudi-Iranian hostilities at the heart of Middle East volatility, rather than enrolling on one side of that conflict.
As it turns out, the occupation doesn’t end after you graduate from college. After four years as a J Street U leader I moved to NYC, but I knew that the work for a two-state solution was far from over. I didn’t want to leave the political home I had found so I did what I know best: I organized. Myself and other J Street U alumni built a new(ish) home for ourselves in the form of J StreetLEAD, bridging J Street’s regional structure and politically motivated young people.
We’re squaring off against the “leaders” in the United States and Israel — those for whom accountability is just a six-syllable word — and organized young people are at the forefront. Therefore, the core of my work is building and activating relationships. If I haven’t spoken with J Street U and LEAD folks directly, I’ve had a hand in training them. In the year since our founding, I’ve built LEAD NYC into our strongest national cohort. With your help, I’ll work to welcome new leaders we’ll discover in the 2018 elections and ensure that we are heard and have room to grow for the crucial fights ahead.
As President of MK Communications, a public policy strategy and communications firm, I am, at heart, an organizer and communicator, who has been able to forge a life in which both my vocation and avocation conform to my values.
My Jewish identity was forged by my early education at Anshe Emet Day School, just as Israel was being born. There I learned the fundamental Jewish values – the pursuit of social justice and a mandate to leave the world a better place – that govern my life.
In college, moved by the bravery of my peers in the South I became an active leader in the civil rights, anti-war, and women’s movement ever since – organizing the anti-war rally where Barack made his first international policy speech in 2002 and the women’s marches in January of 2017.
Since 2008, J Street has become a major part of my life. I serve on the Chicago EC, and have been on 7 J Street Codels & missions. Last year I was Chicago’s annual luncheon honoree.
I offer J Street significant organizational and communication skills and a Midwest perspective that I believe is important as we continue to change the conversation.
When J Street launched, it hit me like a thunderbolt. I was consumed with work on the Obama ’08 National Media Team; and I had a strong connection to Israel, ever since I lived outside Tel Aviv as an exchange student. But I had never gotten drawn into Jewish American politics, because the established leaders alienated me with their hawkish views. In J Street, I found common purpose with like-minded, progressive Americans and a powerful new channel for promoting a two-state solution.
I am a communications strategist and digital specialist. I’ve helped candidates, causes, companies, and countries to tell their stories, influence conversations, navigate risk, and shape outcomes. In nearly 10 years with J Street – as District Advocacy Coordinator for Rep. Nydia Velázquez, Advocacy Chair for J Street NYC, and on the NYC Executive Committee – I have used many of these techniques to grow our Brooklyn membership, engage more young professionals and advance our agenda across the NYC congressional delegation and beyond.
In these turbulent political times, with so much at stake, I’m ready to deepen my commitment, empower more grassroots activists and help strengthen our advocacy efforts in districts across the US.
I would be honored by your vote.