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
Our chapters in Miami, Boston, and Washington, DC are all accepting applications for their upcoming Boot Camp classes! You can also fill out the interest form for our NYC class and we'll get back to you when applications are being accepted. Know any young professionals in these cities? Tell them to apply to the best Israel advocacy training program in the country.
COME CELEBRATE WITH THE FIRST GRADUATING CLASS OF FFT BOSTON & CAMERA YL! TIME TO PARTY FOR TRUTH!
Wednesday, March 28
126 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
Includes 1-hour open bar!
GET YOUR TICKETS HERE
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JOIN THE NEWEST BOOT CAMP GRADUATES AND THE FFT-DC COMMUNITY FOR AN EVENING OF FRIENDS, FUN, AND FUELING YOUR CURIOSITY ABOUT ISRAEL AND THE MIDDLE EAST!
Tuesday, March 20
1942 9th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
Includes 2 drink tickets and happy hour prices all night!
GET YOUR TICKETS HERE
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ReCap: February 2018
FFT-NYC IS BACK IN ACTION WITH A RECORD 35 NEW BOOT CAMPERS!
Guest speakers for this class include former US Ambassador to Morocco Marc Ginsberg, communication guru Ariel Halevi, StandWithUs Northeast Director Shahar Azani, Chloe Valdary of Jerusalem U, Hillel Israel Fellows Director Michelle Rojas-Tal, and last but not least, FFT founder Jon Loew.
REPRESENTING AT AIPAC POLICY CONFERENCE WEEKEND
More than forty FFT members turned out for the Zionist Super Bowl festivities, including ZOA's After Party and the 5th Annual Halev Welcome Event.
FFT-DC AND ISRAEL BONDS SHABBAT DINNER
ReTold: Jordana McMahon's Story
To say that the AIPAC Policy Conference was an unforgettable experience would be an understatement. As a grandchild of Holocaust survivors, my grandparents have always emphasized the importance of having a Jewish state and what it means to the Jewish people. A connection to Israel was a fundamental part of my upbringing. My mother, having lived in Israel for many years, taught me to be a proud Jew and strong advocate for Israel. I’ve been lucky enough to visit many times and consider it my second home. So, when the Manhattan JCC offered me the opportunity to join their delegation to AIPAC, I immediately said yes.
In recent years, public opinion of Israel has dwindled and fighting for Israel has begun to seem like an uphill battle. With the BDS movement strong and vocal on college campuses, and anti-Semitism spreading at home and once again throughout Europe, I have grown concerned for the future. However, after seeing so many leaders voice their unwavering support for Israel at AIPAC, my outlook is increasingly positive and enthusiastic. I saw first-hand that America stands strongly with Israel. Americans—Democrats and Republicans—have Israel’s back and will stand with her even when others do not. Congresswoman Grace Meng and Senator Bob Menendez spoke about their choice to stand with Israel, particularly referencing the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Both said it was not a great move for them politically, but they stood strongly by their beliefs and knew it was the right thing to do. Senator Menendez declared “…I do not waver in my beliefs, even when political winds change, even when it may be tough for others to stand up for Israel, I will always stand up...” After watching speech after speech, it became clear to me that there is bipartisan support for Israel within the United States government and that we have incredible champions of Israel on both sides of the aisle.
I was also struck by the large number of students that were in attendance. I had the opportunity to chat with a group of high schoolers from New Jersey about their love for the Jewish state. They spoke of their plans to dedicatedly stand up for Israel on college campuses—environments many see as the frontline of our cause. It made me proud to see young Jewish people so committed to Israel.
AIPAC is a strong lobbying force and part of the conference experience, for those who chose, was to participate in lobbying Congress on Capitol Hill. I was part of a delegation that met with Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York’s 10th district (which is in NYC). We sat together and lobbied his support for security assistance to Israel, opposing Iranian nuclear ambitions, and opposing boycotts of Israel. Lobbying side by side for Israel with fellow New Yorkers was an incredible feeling. I left AIPAC extremely proud to be Jewish, but equally proud to be an American.
ReLearn: Advocacy Tips & Resources
If someone does not feel heard, they will never be able to listen. If one does not listen, they'll never speak in a way that they can be heard. This is why we must first seek to understand, before we seek to be understood.
Ron's Book Selection
Menachem Begin: The Battle for Israel's Soul
by Daniel Gordis
A biography of the sixth prime minister of Israel that explains how the pre-state “terrorist” became the first Israeli leader to sign a peace treaty with an Arab country.
Reviled as a fascist demagogue by his great rival Ben-Gurion, venerated by Israel’s underclass, internationally admired as a statesman who became the first Israeli to win the Nobel Peace Prize, a proud Jew but not a conventionally religious one, Menachem Begin was a complex and controversial figure. Mourned by Israelis from both the Right and the Left upon his death in 1992, Begin was buried not alongside Israel’s prime ministers, but alongside the Irgun comrades who died in the struggle to create the Jewish national home to which he had devoted his life.
Above and Beyond
What to Watch
Would you risk everything—your future, your citizenship, even your life—to help a brother in need?
In 1948, just three years after the liberation of Nazi death camps, a group of Jewish American pilots answered a call for help. In secret and at great personal risk, they smuggled planes out of the US, trained behind the Iron Curtain in Czechoslovakia and flew for Israel in its War of Independence. As members of Machal—“volunteers from abroad”—this ragtag band of brothers not only turned the tide of the war; they also embarked on personal journeys of discovery and renewed Jewish pride. Above and Beyond is their story.
Can't-miss articles to keep you up-to-date.
Bennett hints he will challenge Netanyahu for prime minister
by Tzvi Levi - March 11, 2018
by Amir Tibon - March 12, 2018
The Trump Administration will convene officials on Tuesday from US, Israel, Arab countries, and European countries to discuss humanitarian, economic, and security crises in Gaza. It will be a "brainstorming session" led by Jared Kushner. The Palestinian Authority will likely not participate.
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The Newsletter Team - Arielle Holstein, Lauren Konopko, Zach Schaffer, Sam Wechsler
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