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 Tali Snow Schwartz, [email protected]
WISHING YOU A HAPPY SUKKOT!
ICYMI: Fuel For Truth, the fabulous group which trains millennials on how to effectively advocate for Israel, is proud to announce that FFT is now formally becoming an integral part of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). FFT will now be known as ZOA’s Fuel For Truth.
Founded in 1897, the ZOA is the oldest pro-Israel organization in the United States. With offices around the country and in Israel, the ZOA is dedicated to educating the public, elected officials, media, and college/high school students about the truth of the ongoing and relentless Arab/Islamic war against Israel. ZOA is also committed to promoting strong U.S.-Israel relations. ZOA works to protect Jewish college and high school students from intimidation, harassment and discrimination, and in fighting anti-Semitism in general.
ZOA’s FFT is the only organization which effectively equips young professionals with the facts, skills and confidence to advocate for Israel in any environment, which is why we are thrilled with the opportunity to be a part of an historic pro-Israel organization like the ZOA to deliver this program to Jewish communities across the country.
We would like to thank ZOA for recognizing the value of the Boot Camp experience and helping us realize our dream of seeing this program in every major city.
ReConnect: Events and Announcements
Applications due Wednesday, October 11, 12:00PM; class begins October 17
Having conversations about Israel isn't always easy. Ever find yourself talking about an issue but didn't feel comfortable with what you wanted to say? Then our signature Boot Camp class is the place for you! It doesn't matter if you know a lot about Israel or very little; everyone benefits from the training and becoming part of our community. Learn more and apply here.
ReCap: September 2017
More than 240 young professionals attended and together we raised more than $10,500!
View all the photos from the party here.
Have any event ideas? Reach out to FFT-NY Event Chairs Alexis Dratell ([email protected]) and Jess Kamens ([email protected]), as well as FFT-DC Event Chairs Abby Schultz ([email protected]) and Ariana Kaufman ([email protected]).
ReTold: Mattie Kapito's Story
Standing at the front of my kindergarten class on the Friday before Rosh Hashanah, holding a sliced apple, I found myself reflecting on what had led me to this moment.
I had joined FFT not exactly sure what to expect. I had grown up very much in the Jewish bubble (and still somewhat inhabit it). While I was certain that I would finally learn how to defend Israel, as a non-confrontational person, I didn’t know if this would truly impact me. Yet, week after week, I felt myself moved to become one of the many voices that advocate for Israel and the Jewish people. After listening to the words of our many speakers and presenters, it became clear that the Jewish people face a much greater problem than the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. As Jews we constantly struggle against a negative worldwide image. Jews are blamed and hated by people who have never even met a Jew. I was inspired by the countless stories of those who stood up and went on the offense in advocating for Israel. Yet, as a kindergarten teacher who works in the South Bronx, what was I to do? Then it hit me. Most of my students have never met a Jew or even know that Israel exists. Here was my opportunity to give my student their first glimpse of Israel and Judaism.
So there I was that Friday, faced with twenty-five five-year-olds staring at me bright-eyed. I started by appealing to them in a way that I knew no five-year-old could resist and with something that is central to every Jew and Israeli: food. I handed out apples and honey to each child and explained the importance of the Jewish New Year. We learned the “dip the apple in the honey” song and while my children ate their apples—and inevitably got honey all over their fingers and faces—I explained to them what it means to be Jewish. I taught them that as a Jew I have a homeland called Israel and that it is truly an amazing place that they would hopefully someday visit. To be quite honest, there is nothing funnier than watching students from the South Bronx wish each other a happy Rosh Hashanah. It was only later that day at dismissal that I knew I had been successful in my task when I heard many students telling their parents that they wanted to be Jewish. I even heard one child tell his mother excitedly that their next vacation must be to Israel.
The students in my class will be the future leaders of our country. My hope is that they will remember their Jewish kindergarten teacher fondly and, in turn, have a positive image of Jews and Israel. While bringing my culture and heritage into my class will not fix the conflict or change the world-wide image of the Jews, FFT taught me that it starts with one small action. It is not enough to defend Israel. We must actively advocate for Israel and the Jewish people in any way that we can. For me, it is teaching my students about the Jewish people, a small act that will hopefully echo into the future. What is it for you?
ReLearn: Advocacy Tips & Resources
Be an asset, not an annoyance. Too often in advocacy, we’re focused on debating and tearing down what someone has said, rather than building a relationship and being a positive presence. The goal of advocacy is always to make other people like you. If they do, they will listen to what you have to say, trust you, and come back for more. We must approach people from a collegial place, rather than an adversarial one.
Ron's Book Selection
My Glorious Brothers
by Howard Fast
My Glorious Brothers is the epic story of perhaps the most breathtaking chapter in the history of Israel, a stirring tale of courage for those who like to find meaning for today's world in the great events of history.
After witnessing a ransacked and desecrated Jerusalem, Simon and his four brothers—soon to be known and revered as the Maccabees—rise to lead an earthshaking rebellion. Their tale has almost no parallel in human history. Theirs was the will, fire, and unbending spirit that inspired the timeless rite of Hanukkah, transforming a society of farmers and scholars into an unconquerable army that would wage the first modern fight for freedom and the first victory for religious freedom.
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Thank you for support!
Jon Loew & Joe Richards - Co-Founders
Ron Wasserman - Chairman & CEO
Justin Ellis - President
Jeremy Meller - COO
Daniel Flesch - FFT-DC Executive Director
Jen Dekel - FFT-DC President
The Newsletter Team - Tali Schwartz, Ariel Kreisler, Zach Schaffer, Arielle Holstein, Sam Wechsler