ReFuel - August 2018

Welcome to the official newsletter of ZOA's Fuel For Truth: ReFuel. On the first Tuesday of each month, be sure to check your inbox for the latest edition. To provide feedback or suggestions, please reach out to Arielle Holstein, [email protected] 


ReConnect: Announcements & Events


Boot Camp


All Boot Camp chapters are accepting applications for their fall classes so get ahead of the curve and apply now! We accept applications on a first-come-first-serve basis, so spread the word to your friends and family and let them know. Learn more and apply here or go straight to the application below.









Boston Party For Truth Promo


Come one, come all, bring a guest, and Party For Truth! Join Fuel For Truth Boston's most recent Boot Camp class and CAMERA Boston Young Leadership for a night of networking, mingling, and "fuel"-ing your curiosity about Israel and the Middle East!

- Two drink tickets *FULL BAR*
- Exclusive rooftop space with a view of Boston
- Mingling with other young professionals

Wednesday, August 15
7:00 - 9:00 PM
Revere Hotel Boston Common

200 Stuart Street, Boston




ZOA Gala Promo
ZOA Gala Speakers Promo


Mark it on your calendars and secure your spot at the fall's biggest gathering of Zionists! Join members of the FFT community and hundreds more for the ZOA's Justice Louis D. Brandeis Award Dinner, aka ZOA Gala, aka Zionist Prom, to honor some of the most committed supporters of the Jewish state.

**Discounted tickets available for students, young professionals and FFT Members**
**Special drink reception for young professionals following the program**

Amb. John Bolton, United States National Security Adivsor
Amb. Danny Danon, Israel's Permanent Representative to the UN
Amb. Richard Grenell, United States Ambassador to Germany
Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law Professor & The Case For Israel author

Sunday, November 4
4:30 - 10:30 PM
Marriott Marquis Hotel
1535 Broadway, NYC




Join FFT-DC for its second annual baseball outing! See the Washington Nationals take on the Atlanta Braves! Click here to purchase tickets; we will be in Section 103. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Pre-game fun at the Bullpen - 5:30 PM
Game Time - 7:05 PM
Washington Nationals Stadium

FFT Fundraising Chair Change


It's always a bittersweet moment when a dedicated FFT volunteer passes the baton, but that's the nature of all things in life. After two years of leadership and dedication, Rebecca Fainberg (pictured left) will be stepping down as our Fundraising Chair. We would like to thank Rebecca for all she's done to keep the lights on and to remind her that she will always be a valued asset of our family.

And in the spirit of change, we would like to announce Rebecca's successor: Lily Guttentag. Lily (pictured right) is a graduate of FFT-Boston's inaugural Boot Camp class and works as a Development Officer for Massachusetts General Hospital. Lily brings years of experience in fundraising and donor relationship management at one of the nation's top hospitals. She is the perfect fit to help us identify new opportunities as FFT continues to expand across the country. She is a native of Andover, MA, and received her degree in Health Behavior Science and Nutrition from the University of Delaware. Mazal tov, Lily!

ReCap: July 2018

CAMERA Student Leadership Conference


FFT National Director Justin Ellis spoke to more than sixty students from around the world during CAMERA’s Student Leadership Conference at the Boston University Hillel. Justin discussed the history behind the Palestine refugee problem, the role that the Palestinians' exclusive UN refugee agency (UNRWA) plays in growing that refugee population rather than reducing it, and what may be in store as the White House and Congress aim to address a problem that has perpetuated the conflict for seventy years, including the introduction of the UNRWA Reform and Refugee Support Act (H.R. 6451).

FFT NYC Happy Hour


Just because Boot Camp is on hiatus until fall doesn't mean you can't spend time with your FFT family. More than thirty FFT members gathered after work on a Tuesday evening to catch up and reminisce.

Israel National Lacrosse Team


A much-deserved congratulations to FFT member Josh Offit (number 25) and the Israel Men's National Lacrosse Team for reaching the quarterfinal of the World Lacrosse Championship. Team Israel lost to Australia 9-6 in its bid to reach the final four, but it's a huge leap for a team that didn't even exist just a few years ago. In its quick ascendancy, Israel is ranked 7th in the world and became the first non-English speaking country to ever host the tournament. Kol hakavod.

ReTold: Shira Yomtoubian and Michael Braun's Story

Shira & Michael's JDC Trip

We are Shira Yomtoubian and Michael Braun—two friends and Fuel For Truth alumni. We both joined Fuel For Truth without prior Israel advocacy involvement, wanting to learn about the issues surrounding Israel and how to advocate more effectively.

Israel may be unique, but it does have similarities to other countries. It has a beautiful landscape, flavorful cuisine, lively music, and domestic issues, like any other place in the world. This summer, we confronted some of these domestic issues when we joined an organized trip to Israel led by JDC Entwine.

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) was founded out of necessity—helping the Jewish people of Ottoman Palestine obtain food during World War I and saving many lives in the process. Today it is one of the largest Jewish humanitarian organizations in the world. The purpose of this trip is to educate young Jewish professionals about social issues in Israel by visiting JDC-spawned programs that are trying to address those issues. We examined issues such as the underemployment of the Haredi sector, senior citizen care, supporting people with disabilities, education, and providing better opportunities for Arab Israelis.

In the beginning of our trip, the Taub Center presented a detailed socioeconomic picture of the State of Israel, complete with projections of current trends. During this presentation, we were given factual evidence of a what we also learned in Bootcamp: Israel is a country with problems just like any other. True to its “Start-up Nation” reputation, Israeli government programs (often brainstormed and piloted by JDC) are constantly being developed to address social issues. They are varied—from dealing with high unemployment rates in vulnerable communities, to helping underperforming schools, to finding ways to help people age more gracefully.

Our experiences at FFT gave us a strong foundational understanding behind the complexities of  some of these issues and allowed us to ask, without hesitation, direct questions to representatives in each program. One such situation occurred at an employment center in an Arab-Israeli city, Umm al-Fahm. Following a presentation, which illustrated the program’s admirable success in decreasing the unemployment rate in the community, orchestrating employment opportunities in corporate companies, and encouraging Hebrew language classes, we asked questions regarding how these services impact their community members’ relationship with Israeli society. Two key messages we learned were: 1) It is very uncommon for Arab-Israelis to know Hebrew and therefore how debilitating it is for their ability to partake in Israeli society, and 2) It is unusual for most Arab Israelis and Jewish Israelis to occupationally or socially interact before university and/or the workspace. These programs, like the one in Umm al-Fahm, provide opportunities for such learning and interactions.    

This JDC Entwine trip gave us a glimpse into the innovative steps being taken by Israeli citizens and supporters to improve the standard of living for all its citizens and to hopefully motivate affinity and cooperation amongst all its citizens. Together, this experience and the tools we’ve learned at FFT provide us with the confidence and knowledge to effectively advocate for the state of Israel, which is especially valuable in this highly combative time in history.    


ReLearn: Advocacy Tips & Resources

Advocacy Tip
Asking good-faith, open-ended questions is a powerful way to disarm a conversation partner. It can de-escalate the tension of a charged moment. It also provides you with a chance to collect vital information about another person's values, perceptions, and beliefs. From there, you can better understand and persuade them.

Ron's Book Selection


by Hillel Halkin

Vladimir Jabotinsky (1880–1940) was a man of huge paradoxes and contradictions and has been the most misunderstood of all Zionist politiciansa first-rate novelist, a celebrated Russian journalist, and the founder of the branch of Zionism now headed by Benjamin Netanyahu.

This biography, the first in English in nearly two decades, undertakes to answer central questions about Jabotinsky as a writer, a political thinker, and a leader. Hillel Halkin sets aside the stereotypes to which Jabotinsky has been reduced by his would-be followers and detractors alike.

What to Watch

The SettlersThe Settlers

With remarkable access, award-winning Israeli filmmaker, Shimon Dotan traces the history of Israeli settlements in the West Bank since Israel’s decisive victory in the 1967 Six Day War.

While government leaders and the Israeli public initially saw the military victory as an opportunity for a negotiated peace, Jewish religious zealots saw it as a divine calling to redeem the Biblical land of Israel. Dotan embarks upon the most comprehensive retelling to date, employing little-seen archival footage, candid comments by security officials, and uncensored interviews with the pioneers and a diverse range of modern-day settlers, religious and secular alike, to weave a provocative web that entangles the destinies of Israel and the Palestinian people.

RePost: Can't-miss articles written by FFT members


TOIWe need political supplements outside Birthright

by Justin Ellis, FFT National Director - July 30, 2018

"In the recent aftermath of Birthright participants walking off their trip because it didn’t provide the 'Palestinian narrative' or paint the 'whole story' surrounding the Arab-Israeli conflict, a conversation has emerged as to whether Birthright should provide a greater geopolitical focus. I believe doing so would be a huge mistake."



TOIThe New Yorker's unsophisticated take on Israel

by Daniel Brooks, NYC Boot Camp graduate & class instructor - July 15, 2018

"How can you simultaneously be distant from your community and its values, and speak with authority on what the community’s values are and what they are not?"




Arutz Sheva


by Michael Yadov, NYC Boot Camp graduate & class instructor - July 30, 2018

"I hold a firm belief that all people of sound moral standing and especially those who care about Israel have an instrumental role to play against BDS; and with this in mind, I would like to share a simple framework for repelling BDS that can be applied by anyone while going about their daily life."





by Jonathan Michanie, Boston Boot Camp graduate & class instructor - July 14, 2018

"From Oslo to the Clinton Parameters and Road Map peace plans, there was an assumption that Gaza and a future Palestinian West Bank would be connected and would inevitably begin to function as the 'nation-state' envisioned by the West."




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Jon Loew Joe Richards - Co-Founders
Ron Wasserman - Chairman & CEO 
Justin Ellis - President & National Director 
Jeremy Meller - COO 
Susan Chusyd - FFT-DC Executive Director
Jennie Rimon - FFT-Miami Executive Director
Hali Haber & Ben Suster - FFT-Boston Co-Executive Directors
The Newsletter Team - Arielle Holstein, Lauren Konopko, Zach Schaffer, Sam Wechsler

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Fuel For Truth is a 501(c)(3) organization

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