As we approach the end of 2015, I wanted to update you on the innovative efforts underway at the American Jewish Congress. We close out our 97th year as an influential organization by building on the successes of our past and adapting our approach to meet the new challenges confronting the Jewish community at home and abroad. We are the Jewish voice of tomorrow.
October brought the American Jewish Congress to Israel for its 30th annual International Conference of Mayors, drawing leaders from the US and across the globe, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. The theme of this year’s conference was “Smart Cities.” The group learned firsthand about the technological marvels being pioneered in Israel, and made visits to cutting-edge tech facilities. Our aim is to identify future leaders at the local level and to impact their views of Israel. Two alum of our conference were elected head of state in the past two years: Mauricio Macri, the new president of Argentina, and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
At the United Nations General Assembly in September, I met with world leaders to discuss and personally counter the corrosive spread of the anti-Israel BDS Movement. It is one of our top priorities to oppose BDS and to inform influential political leaders in the United States and beyond, as well as the general public, of the true political nature of BDS: to ostracize, delegitimize, and isolate Israel. Our efforts culminated in the U.S. House and Senate passing measures in opposition to BDS.
We also expended great effort lobbying against the flawed Iran nuclear agreement by meeting with members of Congress and the Obama Administration, and beseeching them to rework the deal. Despite its passage, AJCongress continues to work to ensure U.S. and Israeli security interests are enhanced through rigorous enforcement and close monitoring of the deal should Iran violate it. We also remain dedicated to bringing to light Iran’s dangerous actions in the region.
On another front, over a thousand AJCongress supporters responded to our urgent call to support House Resolution 293, condemning Palestinian violence against Israelis and calling on the Palestinian Authority to stop inciting violence and end the conflict. The resolution unanimously passed both the House and the Senate, thanks in part to those who emailed their representatives.
Over the course of the year, our newly initiated Speakers Series hosted presentations with U.S. Senators, as well as former Israeli National Security Advisor, Major General Yaakov Amidror, providing the AJCongress audience insights on the most pressing issues facing Israel and the American-Jewish community.
We made significant strides this past year on our broad agenda. But our work is not done. Your support is indispensable if we are to continue our mission to make progress to bring peace, security, prosperity, and understanding to Israel and on behalf of Jews everywhere. Please consider contributing to our organization today by donating online or sending a contribution by mail to our headquarters at: 260 Madison Ave. 2nd Fl, New York, NY 10016.
American Jewish Congress