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November 13, 2009

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November 13, 2009

Suddenly, a bright spot appears on the Jewish political front in America. One that perfectly captures my love of and concern for the future of Israel, yet one that realizes that Israel's future is most secure without the occupation and as a democratic Jewish state. J-Street and their educational arm is doing crucial work for the future of Israel and for the Jewish community of the United States.

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If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Reclaim the wonderfully diverse image of Israel among college students across the country, presenting a positive picture without glossing over the stains.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 13, 2009

more

November 13, 2009

Aside from attending its remarkable conference in October -- which would alone qualify J Street for an award for being fleet on its feet, thoughtful, and impactful with precious little preparation time -- the 'buzz' surrounding its inception has been remarkable. And by that I don't mean the negativity heard in some established corners of the community, but the sense of doors opening, and the sighs of relief and appreciation, among countless individuals who've always been "pro-Israel, pro-peace" but never had a powerful focused mainstream group with which to alignthemselves. Kol hakavod / all the honor, to J Street

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

its impressive and balanced educational efforts, wherein J Street honors those who see the situation differently even as it effectively speaks up for its focused "pro-Israel, pro-peace" platform.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Grow, grow, grow! I don't know enough about the internals to speak to strategy questions, but I've liked all that I've seen to date.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

watching it get off the ground so quickly, so effectively, and with such a broad and deep impact.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

truly impressive, and dedicated -- knowledgeable, effective, energized, and perhaps above all respectful rather than polarizing in their portrayals of other organizations whose goals differ from those of J Street.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

leverage 20 million more, and then more still, toward targeted campaign contributions -- and be an effective player in building a multi-issue, sophisticated, 'pro-Israel AND pro-peace' lobbying presence

Ways to make it better...

at the opening conference, more of the traditional 'pro-Israel' signifiers (like Hatikvah) had been present-- though given the breadth of the coalition it brought together, I understand the call they made.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

overcoming entrenched resistance among folks who've spent decades learning, and then espousing, the older "pro-Israel" party line'; J Street has nicely framed being pro-justice, pro-co-existence, and pro-peace as indeed being pro-Israel, but it's hard...

One thing I'd also say is that...

J Street's nuanced statements, as on the Goldstone Report for instance, deserve great accolades -- they're not just balancing diverse stakeholder perspectives, but truly striving to do the right thing in every instance.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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