MERCAZ USA Newsletter — Spring 2012
MERCAZ USA + Israel Advocacy = Success
"We're in an information war, but it's an information war we can win." With these words, spoken by Advocated for Israel President Gary Acheatel, MERCAZ USA opened last December the Conservative Movement's first-ever Israel Advocacy Training Seminar.
Twenty-four hours later, the nearly 60 synagogue representatives in attendance had gained important information and valuable techniques in defending the cause of Israel against those in our communities and in the media who seek to deny the legitimacy of the Jewish State.
The success of the December event, the product of a unique collaborative effort of MERCAZ USA, MERCAZ Canada, Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs, Rabbinical Assembly, United Synagogue and Women's League organized with the support of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the World Zionist Organization, has prompted the planning of a second Israel Advocacy Training Seminar, scheduled for Sunday-Monday, April 22-23, in the greater Chicago area.
As Janet Tobin, President of MERCAZ USA, noted, "Israel's moral, legal and political legitimacy have been challenged militarily and politically by her neighbors and others since the birth of the Jewish state. But never before have these challenges been heard with such vigor in the West or given so much credence. And never before has this propaganda represented such a real threat to Israel's very existence. As these challenges move forward, the Conservative Movement feels it is time to take more action to defend Israel against her detractors".
Featured speakers included Noam Katz, Minister of Public Diplomacy of the Embassy of Israel, and Gerald M. Ostrov, Director of the Strategic Communications Center. Others taking part in the Seminar included Marty Davis, Senior Advisor to the Vice Chairman of the World Zionist Organization, and Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt, Director of Israel Policy and Advocacy for the Rabbinical Assembly.
Among the topics discussed in workshops was "Talking Civilly Even with Those with Whom We Disagree" and "Building Effective Synagogue Committees". Workshop leaders included representatives from such well-known advocate organizations as Stand With US, CAMERA, The Israel Project, the American Zionist Movement and Friends of Israel.
A special section of the MERCAZ website has now been devoted to Israel Advocacy, with links to videos and other materials along with details concerning registration for the Spring Advocacy conference.
The Israel Advocacy Training Seminar represents the first step by MERCAZ to train a core group of Israel Advocates throughout the United States and Canada who will mobilize their synagogue communities. We anticipate the MERCAZ advocacy initiative will reach hundreds of thousands of Conservative synagogue members in North America, with a goal to educate millions of our fellow Jewish and non-Jewish citizens to promote support of Israel.
To learn more about MERCAZ plans for Israel Advocacy, visit the special section on the our website: Israel Advocacy. To register for the April 22nd-23rd seminar in Chicago, go to www.regonline.com/mercazisraeladvocacy. For more information, contact Rabbi Robert R. Golub, Executive Director, at 212-533-2061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Mercaz USA. All rights reserved.