I am involved in many different philanthropic groups, but my experience with ACCESS has been the most unique and rewarding. The ACCESS leadership consistently and carefully develops programs that are relevant to its target age demographic and are also critical to the larger work of the AJC. As a result, ACCESS is an important part of the larger organization and not a feeder program or subset of the more senior membership of AJC. ACCESS is incredibly organized, which allows it to quickly respond and provide opportunities for young leaders to participate and help in current events. In particular, I went with ACCESS to New Orleans immediately after Katrina to help in the rebuilding efforts and I have attended ACCESS's annual meeting almost every year in Washington D.C. Further, I worked with ACCESS to develop a young leadership retreat with the Dallas and Miami AJC chapters, which helped develop more active young philanthropic leaders. In summary, due to the work of the ACCESS leadership and AJC, I have dedicated my philanthropic efforts primarily to ACCESS, which I find to be the most relevant and rewarding non-profit organization that I have worked with on human right, pluralism, and democratic values.
I have had a great experience with AJC ACCESS> It is a great place for young Jewish professionals to come together and advocate on behalf of issues we care about. It is different from many other young boards I have been a part of because it is not focused on fund raising but instead allowing young individuals to engage in the organization's core mission.
AJC ACCESS is serving as the home for genuine Jewish debate, and because of that it feels like my home too. It is neither liberal nor conservative, nor orthodox or reform, it is a central meeting point for all perspectives. I have worked with AJC ACCESS to meet with diplomats, and to build relationships with African-American and Muslim young leaders. The meetings have not been dialogue for dialogue sake but to work with these communities on common projects.
ACCESS has shown me the world, both literally and figuratively. ACCESS members are a unique group of people who bring a great deal of diversity, perspective and open-mindedness to each engagement. We are bonded in the mission to advance plurality, build interethnic parternships and engage political leaders abroad, whether in Israel or Ethiopia. Yet we vigorously debate among ourselves in a climate of friendship and a spirit of learning. We make waves and leave a lasting impression. In meetings with diplomats right here in New York or in my recent trips to Israel and Germany, ACCESS members have performed as effective and impassioned ambassadors for the Jewish community. I traveled to Berlin with AJC ACCESS to meet with various groups on the future German-US relations. These groups included politicians of various parties, grassroots organizations, journalists and immigrant groups. This led to a subsequent trip to Israel, focused on the role Germany and the US can play in addressing the Arab-Israeli conflict, with a delegation of young German political officials and ACCESS members.