10 years ago, J Street’s presence in Silicon Valley was almost nonexistent. As a member (and chair) of the JCRC, I was frustrated by AIPAC’s power. When I learned about J Street, it was truly a godsend! J Street created a space for me to speak authentically about Israel/Palestine, with nuance and thoughtfulness.
With another brave soul, I established a J Street chapter and became the chair. Initially rebuffed by local synagogues and community centers, the chapter has grown from a few active members to its current core leadership of 24, with dozens more aligned and involved followers. J Street Silicon Valley is now well-integrated into our community and well-respected by all local Congress members.
As chair, I worked intensely on all four spokes of J Street’s structure — advocacy, political, communal and development. I found ways to integrate and get the best out of people with different styles, temperaments, and personalities. I understand the day-to-day challenges of “growing a chapter” as well as J Street’s principles and policies.
Attending a CODEL in 2022 gave me a glimpse into J Street’s true influence. I can envision J Street’s growth 10 years from now: J Street is the main influencer in the US on Israel, scaled up from its current size through thoughtful strategic steps. As a Board member, I will bring the nuts and bolts of chapter work to the broader picture as we expand J Street’s reach and influence.