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2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit

J Street Education Fund, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: J Street Education Fund, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. It aims to educate targeted communities about the need for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to raise the visibility of a mainstream pro-Israel, pro-peace presence within the American Jewish community, as well as to promote open, dynamic and spirited conversation about how to best advance the interests and future of a democratic, Jewish Israel.

Geographic areas served: North America

Community Stories

29 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Rachamim S. D.

Volunteer

Rating: 1

J-Street was founded by an idealistic but very naive man. He spent a total of 19 months living in Israel under Temporary Residency nor in any Jewish community in the US. By his own adnission he never cared about anything Jewish at any point in his life prior to 2006 when he filed the paperwork for his organisation.

To then state as he did his initial registration forms that Israekis AND Palestinians are not capable of knowing what is best for them, that only a foreign nation- the US- can bring peace is beyond naive. It is downright obnoxious. His view that regardless of Israel's wants or needs, regardless of the Security landscape, it must grant sovereign statehood to Palestinians and share Jerusalem are, with no offence meant, appearing to be the ravings of a madman- to say nothing of Israel offering that three times already and Palestinians refusing it.

I do not know how he came to imagine that most US politicians and 81% of US Jewry agree with hin but he was obviously running blind.

I cannot venture an idea as to why in middle age he became obsessed with a nation he will npt live in, when he never cared about anything Jewish by his own admission. What I can definatively say is that the organisation has no mainstream Jewish support in the US and certainly in Israel. Anyone who imagines he will be sucessful in forcefeeding policies to nations not their own is not soneone any rational person should be placing their trust & cash in.

Review from Guidestar

9

Volunteer

Rating: 3

I have enjoyed reading about the work the J street does. I think that they fill an important role. I also think that they are a new organization working to solidify their goals and ideals.

10

Board Member

Rating: 4

As a board member of the J Street U program, I can say that the brand new organization is very exciting and has tremendous potential for creating change. I began working with J Street U staff and resources when it was not J Street U yet, but the UPZ--a similar organization which provided resources and networking to campus groups advocating for Middle East peace. Through the UPZ, I brought to my campus excellent speakers from all over the country, as well as from Israel and the West Bank and Gaza. I also was able to include my campus in the national "We Can't Wait" (for Middle East peace) campaign, which was very successful. When the UPZ became the campus branch of J Street, it brought along all its resources, connections, and established campus groups. Combined with the existing breadth and growing influence of J Street, J Street U has been able to provide even more for students who want to both educate and advocate autonomously on their individual campuses AND be part of a broader movement to create real change. So far, J Street U has been a huge success, with more resources and campus groups than when it was the UPZ...and with excellent guidance and encouragement from J Street. J Street U is still in the process of defining itself as both a part of J Street and a student-led movement, but again, J Street is providing the guidance and encouragement we need.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Noa Baum, I travel all over the country and perform in many universities with a show that aims at introducing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through personal narrative. Everywhere I go I meet young people who feel there is no place on campuses for their voice - people who love Israel but want to see another future. who feel being pro-Israel means also being Pro-Palestinian. They are looking for a place where they can learn but also express their concerns, questions and doubts without being labeled "anti-Israel". J street and it's fabulous education fund are stepping in to fill this need. I had the privilege of presenting at the J street conference and meeting many of the wonderful staff and volunteers. What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is the energy and dedication of everyone involved. the staff that I met were incredibly knowledgeable and extremely competent. It was inspiring to see them in action. I know that if this organization gets more financial support their impact would be greater. They could engage thousands more students in this cause, train more student leaders, provide countless educational opportunities, run free or reduced rate trips to Israel and Palestine, and more! The J street Education Fund is a much needed ray of hope that can support a just and sustainable peace in Israel/Palestine.

12

Board Member

Rating: 5

My name is Aimee Mayer and I am one of the members of J Street U's National Student Board. I have been fortunate enough to work with J Street U since the very beginning. J Street U as an organization seeks to provide a strong new voice to the debate about Israel and the Middle East. Its inclusiveness and willingness to engage with people of a wide variety of backgrounds is incredible and refreshing. As a board member, I have personally seen how student run it really is. All important decisions are completely based on student needs and student input. The policy statements and mission statement are written by the Student Board. It really is an organization for us and by us. Every student, not just the board, is asked to give feedback, suggestions, and policy input through a variety of means (conference calls, notecards or post-its during conferences, emails, etc). On individual campuses, J Street U does fantastic work, and individual groups can count on the support and advise of J Street U staff in planning their events, trying to secure funding, and more. Events cover a wide range of topics. At the University of Maryland, where I am President of J Street U, we just ran an event called "Of War and Water" which discussed the water crisis in the Middle East, how climate change may exacerbate this, current cooperation efforts surrounding water amongst Israelis and Palestinians (as well as other countries in the region), and the outlook going forward. Earlier in the year, we had a Party for Peace, which in addition to great music and food, featured OneVoice activists from Israel and Palestine who spoke with students about their experiences and peace education and advocacy work in Israel and Palestine.

9

Board Member

Rating: 5

When I heard about J Street, I knew that it was a breakthrough organization with a much needed message. As a young Jewish activist on Arab-Israeli issues, and a student of peace and conflict resolution, I had previously felt that my perspective was not being represented by other Jewish institutions. While I was advocating for looking at the conflict critically and reaching out to dialogue with all parties to develop a nuanced understanding, everywhere else I looked I saw only polarization. From personal experience, I have found that J Street has created a surge in interest and participation among my Jewish friends and peers who previously felt disconnected. At the J Street conference I have had the privilege to see the 250 youth from dozens of campuses who came to support J Street’s call for a new approach. They were excited to be there, really excited. Finally – seemed to be the sentiment echoed over and over – finally, after so much polarization and no progress, there is a movement that we can be a part of, a space where we can have a real dialogue and take effective action in pursuance of the goal everyone says they want – peace. It is through a movement like this, that has the best interest of Israel at heart and that opens the conversation, that we can finally make progress in the efforts toward a resolution. I am very proud to be a part of J Street and J Street U and I expect they will make be making a great impact on the way we view the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I am confident it will be a positive one.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

J Street has been a breath of fresh air when it comes to Israel's relations with the US and the middle east. I helped them prepare for their conference doing menial tasks, however it gave me an insight into how hard everyone there works and how passionate they are about making clear J Street's goals to the public. I was impressed by the speaker diversity and notoriety they secured for the conference, as well as the high attendance and all with a limited staff. I followed the conference via streaming coverage on the web. The conference gave a feeling of hope about the future of the middle east after seeing J Street's solidarity with President Obama's views in that region. J Street is mobilizing the public, giving us a megaphone so we can compete with the conservative Israel lobby that has too long controlled policy on Capitol Hill.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I support Jewish values that teach us to love the stranger and oppose oppression. The security and strength of Israel is tied to the well-being and healing of Palestine, and I am delighted to support an organization that recognizes this interconnection. J Street, in its promotion of peace, justice and a two state solution to the conflict, is such an organization.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

3

Former staff

Rating: 5

Having interned with J Street this past summer and currently organzing a J Street group on campus, I have been able to see the growth of the J Street Education Fund from a seedling to a vibrant, relevant, and useful campus organization. Participating in the student portion of the J Street Conference this past October, I was able to see the hundreds of students passionate about the pro-Israel, pro-peace agenda, and how successful they have been in programing, education, and advocacy of this narrative with the help of J Street Education Fund on their campus. Considering how nre this organization is, I am impressed by its wisom regarding how to deal with opposing and complementary groups on campus, how to talk about our narrative to other students, and how to organize useful events and a well-functioning chapter. I am proud to say that I am working with others on my campus to make my college a powerful node in J Street U's network, a networking which provides students like myself with hope for a better Israel.

10

Former staff

Rating: 5

Working at J Street was an incredible experience. The level of commitment across the organization to helping Israel find peace was astounding. Additionally, everyone on staff-from Jeremy Ben-Ami down-was personable and made an effort to know everyone there. This made for a great working environment, and I personally believe is related to the tremendous success this organization has had over the last 19 months.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

J Street is a fantastic organization. Security through peace - isn't this what everyone wants? Isn't it the intelligent, thought-through, most realistic approach? Finally a group saying it loudly and with conviction.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I stand with J Street because justice, security, and peace in Israel won't come until our conversations are focused on the long-term work we need to do make peace rather than just our short-term fears. Finally, someone gets that- J STREET!

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The constant state of bloody conflict hurts Israel and tugs at the heart of every Jew. J Street has a sensible position on achieving peace while preserving Israel as a democratic Jewish state. The time is now.

11

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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

11

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

J Street has brought much-needed sanity into the arena. It is replacing cynicism with cautious optimism. J Street represents the future.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I stand with J Street because as an American-born Jew whose father fought in WWII, I love Israel, and believe passionately in its right to exist, and also think that the path to guaranteeing a future of prosperity, peace and hope involves a two-state solution and reaching out to the Palestinians.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My children were born in Jerusalem during the bus and cafe bombings of the second intifada. J Street's powerful voicing of the majority opinion that strong US leadership is required to achieve a peaceful two-state solution gives me hope that Israeli children won't have to live through a time like that again. The J Street conference was fantastic - extremely well-run, welcoming, professional, and very educational. There was a wide range of views on the peace process from solid Center to far left. It felt wonderful to be in a place where we were all committed to israel and could debate how to move forward without villifying each other.

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Israel needs peace for security, and J Street offers a way forward. Security for Israel is security for the U.S; peace for Israel is the only path to real security. J Street has the right approach. I read J Street news a lot, and forward it to many friends and family--because they are doing very good, promising work.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Who would not support J Street, if you really want peace to begin within our lifetimes in Israel and Palestine? I have been working on this issue since 1967 and have seen too many who say they are for a just peace and then hold out for advantage for 'their' side. J Street is part of the solution - plain and simple - so I am with them!

7

Donor

Rating: 5

"Finally, there is a major player organization that supports Israel, the US, and global stability by working actively for peace. I believe that J Street understands Israel can only be secure if peace is achieved with its internal population of Palestinians and with its neighbors."

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

"I am an Israeli/US dual citizen and like almost all Israelis, a veteran of the IDF. I love Israel and believe that its future as a Jewish democracy cannot be secured by ruling over a hostile population. Our Jewish tradition of justice demands that what we want for ourselves we must allow to others. I don't see how we can achieve that and still remain in the West Bank and Gaza. A two state solution is the best answer currently available."

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As an Israeli, I stand with J Street because I don't want my grandchildren to have to go to war to protect Israel. The best form of security for my country is a peace agreement.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I support J Street because the two-state solution is the only viable solution to end this conflict. They are pro-peace which is what we want for this region.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

"J Street is essential to a balanced and realistic conversation about the two state solution. To think that progressive Jews are marginalized because they do not agree with the right hardliners, and present a humanistic alternative, is a tunnel vision view of the peace process. We all want the same thing...a peaceful Jewish state."

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I'm contacting you to you today to see if you'd be willing to use your comment to help us win the Jewish Choice Awards on GreatNonProfits.org. We really loved it. You said: "I stand with J Street because I am inspired by your pro-peace, pro-Israel message and at the same time your willingness to shake things up.... Our country is in such trouble and I believe you really want to roll up your sleeves and make it a better world! Thanks for all you do."

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I support J Street since they are one of the few who think rationally when thinking about Israel. There are emotions behind the rationality but they are positive and serve to benefit Israel rather than send it down a devastating path.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

"I stand with J Street because J Street is an oasis of just, compassionate, reasonable, practical, and fact-based advocacy for a Middle East peace solution. With a level-headed tone and a positive message that respects the rights of both Palestinians and Israelis, J Street is a decidedly affirmative force in international affairs, a voice of post-sectarian light and reason among lobbyists. J Street deserves the overwhelming support of the American people."

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

"I stand with J Street because they take a reasonable position to help address Mideast tensions and look for peaceful resolutions to the conflicts in that part of the world."