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J Street Education Fund, Inc.
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.

More feedback

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

MY ROLE:
Professional with expertise in this field & Long involved with allied groups, I attended its opening conference and helped speak up on its behalf in the larger community.

Friends of the Arava Institute
October 23, 2009

The Arava Institute makes a great contribution in each of its many realms: environment, higher education, international relations, multi-ethnic coexistence, and so on. Yet these contributions are greater than the sum of their parts because they all conjoin, and they model and demonstrate the interconnections among these areas: ecology and human rights, education and inter-ethnic understanding, people and planet. And all this incredible work is being done with fabulous people, each of whom goes on to be an educator and spokesperson and change agent in turn. Finally, all this incredible work of the Arava Institute is done in collaboration with and with the support of the Friends of the Arava Institute.

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The Great!

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

the sophistication of its graduates around the subtleties of and interconnections between) ecological and human concerns.

More feedback

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

stellar! I've learned from all, and befriended many, of those whom I've been privileged to meet.

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

change the face of the Middle East, and the biosphere, for the better! (Actually it's already doing that, but with $10m could do even more of it, even sooner ;-)

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

MY ROLE:
Professional with expertise in this field & I have learned from AIES' faculty and students, made connections for its graduates, and tried to build upon the teachings that come from there.