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
We are excited to announce that we will be launching Boot Camp in Los Angeles this spring!!!
Spread the word to your SoCal friends and family and tell them to fill out the class interest form if they would like to be part of our inaugural cohort. Sign up here to receive an email when applications are available.
This will be our third new chapter (fifth total) in less than two years. With last year's expansion to Miami and Boston, and now this year's expansion to LA and soon Chicago, FFT will be operating on both coasts and in three time zones, fulfilling our dream of bringing FFT across the country.
COME PARTY FOR ZION AT POLICY CONFERENCE
Are you attending AIPAC Policy Conference or happen to be in DC that weekend? Then join the Party For Zion, the official Policy Conference reception of Fuel For Truth and ZOA Campus! Tickets include two free drinks and FFT members get 50% off registration through the discount code posted in each city's FFT Facebook group. You do not need to be registered for Policy Conference to attend, so come celebrate Israel with your FFT family and the Boot Campers of tomorrow. Sharing is caring, so spread the word on Facebook.
Party For Zion
Sunday, March 24 | 9:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Bar Deco | 717 6th St NW, DC
BOOT CAMP 2.0: ODED REVIVI EVENT
Can local leaders in Judea and Samaria foster coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians? One mayor unequivocally says yes, and he has the experience to prove it. For the second installment of our Boot Camp 2.0 program, we invite you to join us and Oded Revivi, Mayor of Efrat, for a special discussion on what he has done over the past decade to build bridges with neighboring Palestinian villages.
Building Bridges, Not Barriers
Thursday, March 28 | 6:45 - 8:45 PM
The Brownstone | 224 E 12th St, Fl 2, NYC
Registration required for entry
Light refreshments will be served
ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Oded Revivi is a statesman, orator, politician, lawyer, and prominent advocate for the Israeli communities of Judea and Samaria. Since 2008 he has served as mayor of Efrat and since 2016 he has served as the Chief Foreign Envoy of the YESHA Council, acting as the official representative of the Israeli settlement movement to the international community. Mayor Revivi began his professional career as an attorney working in several law firms and in 2000 he opened up his own law practice, specializing in real estate and business law. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mayor Revivi served 4.5 years in the Israel Defense Forces Armored Corps as a conscript and subsequently an additional 25 years as a reserve officer attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel (Res.). Under his leadership and command, his tank regiment received the President of Israel’s Prize for Excellence. Mayor Revivi received his Bachelor Degree in Law from East London Law School and Master's Degree in Social Sciences and Public Policy from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
FFT BOSTON HAS A NEW HOME
We are happy to announce that we have partnered with Northeastern University Hillel to host our Boston Boot Camp program! This is a great opportunity for us to recruit Boot Campers from one of the largest Jewish campuses in Boston and to provide additional Israel advocacy training to the NU Hillel students and members of the broader NU community.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Jack Fainberg and Nixon Peabody LLP for being an amazing host over the past year and helping us establish roots in Boston. We could not have done it without you and we appreciate all of your support.
SHABBAT DINNER DURING POLICY CONFERENCE WEEKEND
To kick off AIPAC Policy Conference weekend, FFT DC alumna, Jackie Feldman, is organizing a special Shabbat dinner in partnership with JIMENA, Sephardic Jews in DC, 30 Years After and Sephardic Legacy Series. For more information or questions, please contact [email protected].
Friday, March 22 | 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Char Bar | 2142 L Street NW, DC
FFT SPEAKER PROFILE: ARIEL HALEVI
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.
Follow at arielhalevi.com
QUICK BIO: Ariel Halevi is an Israeli expert in interpersonal communication and persuasion dynamics. He is the co-founder of VAYOMAR, a global consulting firm specializing in communication and management skills to help companies increase revenue, save costs, and improve efficiency in resource allocation.
CLAIM(S) TO FAME: Ariel is the godfather of the communication skills we incorporate into Boot Camp and has been an invaluable asset to FFT. As a student at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzilya, he was a competitive debater and captain of his college debate club, distinguishing himself as Debate Champion in Israel for two consecutive years and in Oxford, England.
WHY WE LOVE THE SPEAKER: Too many supporters of Israel believe the key to effective advocacy is rooted in how much information you know, but what happens if your "advocacy" results in the audience running away rather than asking for more? Ariel masterfully helps Boot Campers understand how personal behavior and the experiences they facilitate are far more valuable to changing opinions about Israel than the knowledge they acquire.
WHERE YOU CAN FIND: Ariel provides workshops to companies and groups all over the world. You can learn more about his methodologies by visiting his website and on YouTube.
ReCap: February 2019
BOOT CAMP 2.0 STARTS STRONG
We held a sold-out interactive workshop on best practices of effective Israel advocacy with Shahar Azani, former Executive Director of StandWithUs and Spokesperson for Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Participants submitted topics for the evening's focus and had the opportunity to practice responding to different accusations in a variety of social scenarios.
ABOUT BOOT CAMP 2.0: Boot Camp 2.0 is our initiative to provide greater educational opportunities for Boot Camp alumni, as well as their social and professional networks. We will dive deeper into content covered by Boot Camp, pressing issues and current events, and practical experience through a variety of presentations, discussions and workshops.
LIKE A GOOD NEIGHBOR, FFT IS THERE
College students and young professionals are not the only people eager to gain the facts, skills, and confidence to advocate for Israel. As part of our effort to offer programming opportunities outside the young adult demographic, FFT Boston Boot Camp instructor Yoni Michanie provided his second workshop for the Israel Advocacy Alliance, a grassroots organization of veteran Zionists within the Boston community. The session included best practices of communication, interacting with different ideological audiences, and discussions on different components of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
ANDREW LIEBMAN TOURS THE WEST COAST
FFT NYC alum, Andrew Leibman, loves filmmaking and Israel, and recently had the opportunity to combine his two passions into one amazing project. He joined Rudy Rochman and Students Supporting Israel (SSI) to film their West Coast Campus Tour in order to uncover and expose the amount of Israel ignorance, misinformation, and alienation on some of America's most notoriously anti-Israel college campuses.
ReTold: Alex Rittenberg's Story
Nobody goes into college hoping that every year, a group of students will bring anti-Israel legislation to student government, events to the student body, and hateful speech to the campus paper. Nobody wants to have to fight, advocate, and educate the masses every day of their college career. However, it is this path that we consistently find ourselves on when showing the world what an incredible place Israel is.
We know the facts. We know our history. We know our connection to that small piece of land across the world. But how do we show the world that they should care about Israel just as we do? We teach, we inspire, we prove to the world that Israel is not going anywhere.
During my time at the Ohio State University, my friends, classmates, and fellow Buckeyes for Israel were tested every single year with some form of BDS. We all learned very quickly the need for activism, advocacy, and education about the country that we hold so dear. It was up to us to show the rest of the OSU community why it was not good or beneficial to divest from companies for their ties to the land of Israel, why Israel was a beacon for democracy and freedom in the Middle East, and why we should not listen blindly to inaccurate information. It was a battle each and every year, but I am incredibly proud to say that during my years as a student at OSU, BDS was defeated each and every time.
Now, as I work with college students with their own Israel activism through my role as a Campus Coordinator with CAMERA, it becomes more necessary for programs like Fuel For Truth to exist. The students that we work with know the facts and information that would help them in a debate and in order to teach others, but I often wonder how many people nationwide, and globally, know the same facts? I know how conversations often go on college campuses about Israel, but wonder how similar conversations happen in the workforce, in a bar, in typical “adult” settings?
One night over the summer in 2018, I had those questions answered. A few of us had gone out to grab a drink in a local bar. A friend of ours started to hit it off with someone he had just met. We didn’t think too much of it, as they were both clearly having a great conversation. However, the girl he was speaking with eventually asked where his accent was from. When he proudly responded, “Israel!” the conversation quickly turned. She began to interrogate him with a number of questions ranging from his opinions on political subjects to how he could serve in such a terrible army. We were all astounded. It was a matter of our collective experience, all from working in an Israel activism field, our experiences on college campuses, and our extensive training from the Fuel For Truth that helped all of us listen to, and converse with, this girl to answer her very pointed questions.
We were, and still are, deeply concerned for the sentiment of Israel and the Jewish people that so many people seem to hold. The overarching question still looms over our heads: How can we change minds and inform the global community who still firmly believe the inaccuracies being spread by false media and those who seek to destroy Israel?
Yet, while we walked away concerned and with more questions than we started the night with, we were oddly satisfied. How is that even possible? What had started out as a very relaxed night out with a couple of friends had turned into a deep debate on Israel and Israel’s right of self-determination and security. But we knew that we had walked away “winning.” We were able to hold our ground, give the information in a clear and impactful way, and ultimately made the girl question her own stance ever so slightly. That conversation would not have been possible without the skills that we had fine tuned and sharpened from FFT.
ReLearn: Advocacy Tips & Resources
Dan's Frequently Asked Questions
Dan Brooks hears a lot of the same questions at Boot Camp. Here's a look at few and his go-to responses!
Q: Are there really Jew-only roads in Israel?
A: This accusation is typically made referring to roads in the West Bank. For security purposes, there are certain roads that are open only for Israeli motorists—no matter their religion.
Q: Why don't East Jerusalem Arabs have Israeli citizenship?
A: They are all eligible for Israeli citizenship, but for political reasons (because accepting citizenship is a form of "normalizing" Israel), most don't pursue it. However, over the past few years, a growing number have applied.
Q: How do we explain to non-Jews or to those not connected to these issues that Jews have connection to Israel?
A: We needn't get too detailed with the 5,000 year old connection. It's important to point out that we are indigenous to the land of Israel; that our lineage and our Jewish heritage, despite centuries of exile, tie us to the land. Everything from prayer rituals to language, we as a people have for millennia have tied to the land.
Q: Can I get a third drink ticket?
A: Yes, as long as you use the magic word.
Recast conversations within a mutually affirming narrative as a shared challenge. You want a conversation to collaborative, and not adversarial. You want to be working together to solve a problem, and not working against one another to prove the other wrong.
Ron's Book Selection
by Menachem Begin
The book traces the development of the Irgun from its early days in the 1930s, through its years of violent struggle in the Palestine Mandate against both British rule (the "revolt" of the title) and Arab opposition, to the outbreak of the Israeli War of Independence in 1948.
The book is also part autobiographical, tracing Menachem Begin's own political development.
What to Watch
It is the overlooked legacy of World War I.
1913: Seeds of Conflict looks at the moment of transformation when Ottoman rule in Palestine was still strong, the identities of Jerusalemites were fluid, and few could imagine the conflict that would dominate the region for the next century. Until now, the public and scholars have focused on the British Mandate as the matchstick of the Middle East conflict. Breaking new ground, this film focuses on the moment just before World War I, when Arab and Jewish nationalism first made contact, and the seeds of conflict were first sewn.
RePost: Articles Published by FFT Members
by Yoni Michanie, Boston Boot Camp graduate & class instructor - February 22, 2019
by Daniel Brooks, FFT Associate National Director - February 26, 2019
"The fact is that the rights of the Palestinian people are controlled by their authoritarian leadership, from human rights to civil rights to political rights..."
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Jon Loew & Joe Richards - Co-Founders
Ron Wasserman - Chairman & CEO
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Daniel Brooks - Associate National Director
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The Newsletter Team - Arielle Holstein, Zach Schaffer
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