Welcome to ReFuel, the monthly newsletter of ZOA's Fuel For Truth. Check your inbox on the first Tuesday of each month to find out what's happening in the FFT universe. Let us know what you love/hate by reaching out to Arielle Holstein.
ReConnect: News, Events & Other Important Stuff
BOOT CAMP APPLICATIONS FOR WINTER CLASSES
As our fall classes wrap up, we're now accepting applications for our winter cohorts which begin in late January/early February. More than 700 people from all walks of life have completed this life-changing program, so if you're seeking an opportunity to learn more about Israel, how to be a better advocate for the Jewish state, and gain a bunch of awesome friends in the process, look no further.
Visit our Boot Camp page to learn more about the program and to apply for the class in your city.
THE TRUE STORY OF CHANUKAH
Hag Chanukah Sameach! Happy Chanukah! As many of you are celebrating these festive eight nights by lighting candles, spinning dreidels, and eating jelly doughnuts, we think it's important to offer a reminder of what this holiday truly represents. Freedom. And more importantly, those willing to rise up and fight for it.
Under Seleucid Greek occupation, persecution and forced Hellenization (read: de-Judaization) in the land of Israel, the priest Matisyahu and his five sons—the Maccabees—lead a rebellion against their imperial oppressors through guerrilla warfare. As part of FFT's mission is dedicated to building pride and connection to the Jewish people and supporting the modern Jewish state, we honor these heroic fighters who valiantly defeated those determined to deprive us of our identity and sovereignty.
For all our book nerds, if you're looking for a special way to appreciate this holiday, we recommend reading My Glorious Brothers.
NETFLIX AND CHILL WITH JON
Did you hear? Our very own Jon Loew—FFT founder and Member #1—has produced a hit, new show on Netflix which has already been watched by millions! In Terrorism Close Calls, law enforcement officials look back on attempted terrorist attacks that were thwarted in the nick of time, including one episode dedicated to Israel. If you want to support Jon and the series, please watch the show and give it a thumbs up on Netflix, share it on social media or write positive reviews at IMDB or The Daily Beast.
WE SAY GOODBYE TO HERB
We are saddened to inform you of the passing of Dr. Herbert London at the age of 79. Herb was a great friend of Fuel For Truth and a frequent guest speaker at Boot Camp. You can learn more about Herb's life and accomplishments by reading his obituary in the New York Times. May his memory be a blessing.
FFT SPEAKER PROFILE: GLORIA GARCÉS
Every issue of ReFuel we highlight one of the numerous guest speakers we host during Boot Camp. These include prominent individuals with extensive experience in politics, foreign policy, religion, media, communication, and education.
QUICK BIO: Gloria Garcés is a media professional with years of experience in journalism, production, and communication for Hispanic audiences. She currently serves as the Miami Office Media Outreach Director for Fuente Latina, a non-profit which increases US Hispanic and Latin American awareness and understanding of Israel and the Middle East.
CLAIM(S) TO FAME: Prior to joining Fuente Latina, Gloria worked as Executive Producer, On-Air Talent, and Director of Public & Community Relations for Mira TV (formerly CNN Latino), and served as TV host of “A Todo Dar” with the Enlace network, which reached more than 70 million viewers throughout the US and Latin America.
WHY WE LOVE THE SPEAKER: According to Pew, Hispanic Americans account for half of the US population growth since 2000 and are the nation’s second-fastest-growing racial or ethnic group. Many have little to no interaction with Jews and Israel, but thanks to dedicated people like Gloria, Hispanic media and audiences can better appreciate the complexities of Israel and the Middle East free from geographic, cultural, and linguistic barriers.
WHERE YOU CAN FIND: Gloria operates media training programs sponsored in part by the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. To learn more about these sessions and her work email [email protected] You can also support the work of Fuente Latina by making a donation here.
ReCap: November 2018
MIAMI AND BOSTON BOOT CAMP GRADUATES
Mazal tov to our Miami and Boston chapters for graduating their third Boot Camp classes and inducting the newest members of the FFT family—also their largest cohorts to-date! Welcome to the family!
ReTold: Andy Weiss's Story
The power of education and network—that’s what FFT is about. By offering an education not only related to Israel, but one that relates to how to interact and influence others, combined with a tremendous network of individuals across the pro-Israel world, FFT greatly magnifies the efforts of each of its members.
I came to FFT in the summer of 2014. Before that, I’d been an active member of the Jewish community and particularly in AIPAC. I had a solid base in knowledge but greatly benefited from a refresher in talking points, hearing top level speakers ranging from leaders in philanthropy to diplomatic superstars, and what is essentially a “how to debate and influence others” course. FFT brought me into contact with all new resources to leverage—both information and other leaders within this very important movement of pro-Israel activists.
Since FFT, I’ve become even more engaged in pro-Israel work, and particularly in pro-Israel politics. I’ve increased my involvement in AIPAC and am one of the most active leaders in their Young Leadership movement. I've also joined their National Council, which involves lobbying on Capitol Hill three times a year. Outside of this involvement, I help run a group that hosts pro-Israel fundraisers for local, state, and federal legislators. I was always passionate about this work but when I look back on it, FFT was tremendously influential in driving my involvement and giving me the resources and contacts necessary to excel. Being empowered with strong and informed discussion points helps greatly in my ability to discuss issues with anyone from a member of Congress to my peers in the community, who may at times have differing views.
Outside of my AIPAC involvement, I’ve been fortunate to share in the work of many other organizations. One of those organizations is UJA. I was well equipped from my FFT experiences when I interviewed for and took part in their Shapiro Family Fellowship. The fellowship was a year-long learning experience shared with thirteen other young leaders in the Jewish community. The peak of the experience was a twelve-day trip to Israel, where we sat down with and heard viewpoints from a wide range of people (from activists, to editors, educators, and even refugees). We got to engage in deep conversations about Israel’s current state of affairs from a geopolitical and a socioeconomic vantage-point, as well as what the relationship between Diaspora Jewry and the state of Israel is and should be. We got to see firsthand how our community in NY is helping to shape the future of Israel.
Above all, FFT put me into contact with some amazing people who devote their lives to this work. I’ve built tremendous friendships that have added and continue to add fulfillment and meaning to my life. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank a few people in particular, such as Jesse Silver, who has been a mentor to me and got me so involved in AIPAC, and then told me about FFT when he applied. People like Joe Richards, Ron Wasserman, Seth Rosenberger, and Matt K. who have invested so much time in this work and have been great role models in my life. Lastly a big thank you to Justin Ellis, who when I met him, was a volunteer and ran social media for FFT. Today, Justin devotes his life to his passion and oversees FFT nationally. I’m thankful that so many others will get to experience FFT because of him and his leadership team.
ReLearn: Advocacy Tips & Resources
Avoid the tendency to gravitate to a position of objectivity. You want to be a lawyer, and not a judge. If you act like your opinion is the truth, you'll get caught in an infallibility contest where no one wants to admit they are wrong. You're not omnipotent. If something is subjective, do not talk about it as if its objective.
Ron's Book Selection
The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace
by Dennis Ross
The Missing Peace is a candid inside account of the Middle East peace process.
Dennis Ross, the chief Middle East peace negotiator in the presidential administrations of George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, recounts the peace process in detail from 1988 to the breakdown of talks in early 2001. It's all here: Camp David, Oslo, Geneva, Egypt, and other summits; the assassination of Yitzak Rabin; the rise and fall of Benjamin Netanyahu; the very different characters and strategies of Rabin, Yasir Arafat, and Bill Clinton; and the first steps of the Palestinian Authority. For the first time, the backroom negotiations, the dramatic and often secretive nature of the process, and the reasons for its faltering are on display for all to see.
What to Watch
Charged with overseeing Israel's battle against Palestinian terrorism, the head of the Shin Bet—Israel's secret service—is present at the crossroad of every decision made.
For the first time ever six former heads of the agency agreed to share their insights and reflect publicly on their actions and decisions. The Gatekeepers offers an exclusive account of the sum of their success and failures.
RePost: Articles Published by FFT Members
by Samantha Rose Mandeles, DC Boot Camp graduate & class instructor - November 21, 2018
"In a world of ever-increasing expressions of anti-Jewish hate, Hyatt has the opportunity to lead by example and demand positive change."
by Jon Loew, FFT Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus - November 8, 2018
"Let this be our official notice. We will exercise our right to defend ourselves if you try to attack us. We will use proportionate force that a reasonable person would use to defend their family."
Help us fight the anti-Israel wave and support the next generation of Israel advocates by making a one-time or monthly gift.
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THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
Jon Loew & Joe Richards - Co-Founders
Ron Wasserman - Chairman & CEO
Justin Ellis - President & National Director
Jeremy Meller - COO
Susan Chusyd, Jodie Singer, Abby Schultz - FFT-DC Co-Executive Directors
Jennie Rimon - FFT-Miami Executive Director
Hali Haber, Ben Suster - FFT-Boston Co-Executive Directors
The Newsletter Team - Arielle Holstein, Lauren Konopko, Zach Schaffer
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