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
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY FROM THE FFT COMMUNITY!
Americans and Israelis share many values, but perhaps none as great as the value of national freedom and the willingness to fight for it. As we celebrate America's 242nd birthday and the patriots who aimed to form a more perfect union, let's recognize that both the American project and the Zionist dream demand that we always look forward and work to becoming the best version of ourselves.
BOOT CAMP APPLICATIONS ARE LIVE
FILL OUT THE APPLICATION FOR YOUR CITY
FFT-DC'S 2ND ANNUAL BASEBALL GAME OUTING
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.
ReCap: June 2018
RECRUITING THE NEXT GENERATION OF BOOT CAMPERS
JEWISH HERITAGE NIGHT AT THE RED SOX GAME
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE NEWEST FFT-DC BOOT CAMP GRADUATES!
ReTold: Daniel Flesch's Story
Dear Fuel For Truth community,
I bid you adieu. Or, perhaps more appropriately, “Shalom v’lehitraot!”
At the end of June, I stepped down as Executive Director of Fuel for Truth-DC as I moved to New York to begin a new position as Senior Advisor to Ambassador Danny Danon at Israel’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations. As an example of how the FFT community can be a great resource, Shahar Azani, StandWithUs’ Northeast Regional Director, former Israeli diplomat, and extremely popular FFT-DC guest speaker, first proposed the opportunity to me and connected me with the ambassador’s chief of staff.
It has been a pleasure leading FFT-DC and being a part of the FFT lay leadership for these past two-plus years. In the ReTold for the July 2017 ReFuel, I shared some insights into what I had learned as a leader in the pro-Israel advocacy world. For this ReTold, I’d like to share a few parting thoughts and thanks.
As those in DC are well aware, I have numerous favorite stories, expressions, and other idiosyncrasies that I share with my Boot Camp participants. On the first evening of each new BC, in addition to introductory slides that familiarize the participants with FFT-DC’s leadership and history, as well as the expectations and schedule of their program, I have a slide with two quotes that set the tone for our Boot Camp.
The first is by the late Elie Wiesel: “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”
I express to the participants that by choosing to apply and commit to FFT, they are choosing to not be indifferent.
And the second quote is from Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the former Senator and UN Ambassador, and perhaps the biggest Irish-Catholic Zionist who ever lived. He famously once said, “You are entitled to your own opinion, not your own facts.”
There is no better sentiment that reflects the dynamic we face in the Israel advocacy space. It is always instructive to remind ourselves that Israel, even with its flaws and stumbles, is in the historical, legal, political, and moral right. This makes our efforts that much easier. With the facts and “truth” on our side, there is nothing more important than to “Question the Premise” of the detractors; always be questioning them, calling out one of the numerous fallacies or red herrings they employ in their logic or accusation. Remember, there is always someone watching who knows less than you, but is susceptible to arguments based in emotion and not logic or reason. Then it becomes an issue of communication, where, as FFT likes to say, “The messenger is as important as the message.”
It is very exciting to see FFT developing new chapters in different cities. DC proved that FFT can be replicated across the country, and now it is finally happening. A big ‘thank you’ to Joe and Ron for having the trust and confidence in me, as well as providing the materials and financial support, to start the first satellite chapter back in 2016.
And of course, to the FFT-DC community: It has been an absolute pleasure bringing this organization to the nation’s capital and getting to know some of the most intelligent, passionate, and good-natured people I’ve ever met. I never thought that what started as a little volunteer passion project of mine, would grow and develop into a well-run organization that functions as a business, complete with multiple annual events. I was always impressed by the dedication that so many showed to the organization, how they dedicated their time and energy to a program they cared about and wanted to always see it improved for the next iteration of Boot Campers. The leadership committee over the past year has been second-to-none, and there were other volunteers and thought leaders who would always be willing to go the extra mile, to cross the street if it benefited FFT-DC.
While this is a goodbye to FFT-DC, it is not to FFT. As I am in New York, I look forward to getting to know the community here, attending the Parties For Truth and other social gatherings, and teaching at upcoming Boot Camps, should the need arise.
One final note. It became a tradition among some of the FFT-DC volunteers and regular attendees to take a candid SnapChat of me teaching and turn it into an elaborate “painting,” usually with a timely theme. For example, when Netta won Eurovision, I was drawn with her outfit; when teaching the “Addressing the Palestinian Narrative”...let’s just say I was drawn in the outfit of a former Palestinian terrorist leader.
Perhaps most appropriate is the drawing from my final class. Thank you, Jodie, for recognizing that although I never actually went through a Boot Camp as a participant, I still graduated from FFT-DC.
ReLearn: Advocacy Tips & Resources
Look less at what people believe and look more at why people believe what they believe. The "what" is a product of the "why." Figure out the "why" and you can change the "what."
Ron's Book Selection
Brotherhood of Warriors
by Aaron Cohen
At the age of eighteen, Aaron Cohen left Beverly Hills to prove himself in the crucible of the armed forces. He was determined to be a part of Israel's most elite security cadre, akin to the American Green Berets and Navy SEALs. After fifteen months of grueling training designed to break down each individual man and to rebuild him as a warrior, Cohen was offered the only post a non-Israeli can hold in the special forces. In 1996 he joined a top-secret, highly controversial unit that dispatches operatives disguised as Arabs into the Palestinian-controlled West Bank to abduct terrorist leaders and bring them to Israel for interrogation and trial.
In our Own Hands: The Hidden Story of the Jewish Brigade in World War II
What to Watch
The final weeks of World War II. His Majesty's Jewish Brigade—the only all-Jewish fighting unit in the war—goes into combat against the hated Nazis...and comes away victorious.
It is after the war, though, that the real story of the Brigade begins. Amidst the chaos of post-war Europe, and under the noses of the occupying Allied armies, the young Jewish soldiers mastermind one clandestine operation after the next: forming secret vengeance squads to assassinate Nazi officers in hiding...engineering the rescue and illegal movement of Holocaust survivors to Palestine. Later, in 1948, Brigade veterans help organize and lead the fledgling Israel Defense Forces in their new country's War of Independence. From the trenches of Northern Italy to the refugee camps of war-torn Europe, In our Own Hands unravels the thrilling tale of young Jewish soldiers who carried the weight of a people on their shoulders.
RePost: Can't-miss articles written by FFT members
by Justin Ellis, FFT National Director - June 14, 2018
"If we want young Jews and the majority of the general population sitting on the fence to be sympathetic toward Israel in its perpetual quagmire, we need to treat their thoughts on the matter, however misguided, as an asset in our conversations, not a liability."
by Liel Asulin, Boston Boot Camp graduate - June 28, 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?"
by Michael Yadov, NYC Boot Camp graduate & class instructor - June 10, 2018
"...let's not hand BDS a victory by falsely accusing AFA of siding with the bullies. Instead, let's recognize that Argentinians were not the villains in this story, and let's focus on the solidarity that should grow out of this experience between Israeli and Argentine players."
Support Our Mission
Don't forget to select "Fuel For Truth Inc" on your Amazon Smile!
You can also make a one-time or monthly gift that goes directly to transforming the lives of pro-Israel young professionals. All donations are tax-deductible. Click here to learn more.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
Jon Loew & Joe Richards - Co-Founders
Ron Wasserman - Chairman & CEO
Justin Ellis - President & National Director
Jeremy Meller - COO
Daniel Flesch - FFT-DC Executive Director
Susan Chusyd - FFT-DC Deputy Executive Director
Jennie Rimon - FFT-Miami Executive Director
The Newsletter Team - Arielle Holstein, Lauren Konopko, Zach Schaffer, Sam Wechsler, Ferdinand
Fuel For Truth is a 501(c)(3) organization
PO Box 1929
90 Church Street
New York, NY 10008