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Partnership for Israel

Stronger Ties through Culture, Education and Advocacy

Mission: The Partnership for Israel is an innovative collaboration between the Jewish Federation of the East Bay's Israel Center and the JCRC of the East Bay. We're dedicated to strengthening bonds between ourselves and the people of Israel through vibrant cultural and educational programming and dynamic pro-Israel advocacy.

Over the past several decades, many individuals, religious leaders, journalists and others have interpreted the absence of a concluded peace treaty with the Palestinians as a sign that Israel is not interested in peace, thus weakening support for the country. In addition, the emphasis on conflict has created a narrow “lens” through which far too many people view Israel. Through education, person-to-person outreach and programmatic partnerships within the Jewish community and in the general community, The Partnership for Israel works to present a more fully realized (complete?) portrayal of the country — one that shows Israel as a vibrant, strongly democratic, innovative and multi-cultural nation.

Effective and grassroots Israel advocacy and cultural/educational programming are increasingly necessary to counter the growing resources of anti-Israel activists. This is particularly so in the Bay Area. Over the past several decades, Israel as well as Israelis are repeatedly portrayed as pariahs that should be excluded from all international activities, be they diplomatic, political, academic, economic, social, sporting or cultural. Only by showing a more complex and diverse image of Israel to the community can we begin to counter the negative stereotypes that have been unfortunately promoted.

Culture

Partnering with East Bay Jewish organizations and synagogues to bring Israeli film and performers to their venues, e.g., Ethiopian Theatre troupe from Israel at Temple Sinai, Israeli mini-series on modern Orthodox singles to the Contra Costa JCC, films and speakers at Cong. Netivot Shalom. We serve as both a resource as well as an underwriter of cultural programming in order to create a more complete picture of Israeli society and to start developing more interest in a deeper understanding of the Israel “behind the headlines.”

Education

Working with East Bay Israel action groups in the East Bay and synagogue Israel committees to bring Israeli speakers on a wide array of subjects to community. Over the past two years, we have presented numerous programs in co-sponsorship with our community partners including:

Advocacy

One of the primary goals of our advocacy team will be to promote strong American/Israel relations, promote unity for and broad tent support of Israel within our community, and serve as the central pro-Israel advocacy organization in the East Bay for the community, campuses and the media. We will help to develop and market effective pro-Israel strategies and tactics. We will also endeavor to be “first responders” assisting in the coordination of the Jewish community reaction to emerging trends in the East Bay, or breaking crises.

Working with community partners such as the ADL and Federation lay leadership, The Partnership was successful in having the Oakland Children's Museum (MOCHA) cancel the exhibit “A Child's View from Gaza” which was produced by The Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA) an organization with a long history of using inflammatory rhetoric to advance an anti-Israel agenda. The exhibit is composed of violent drawings that portray soldiers identified with large Jewish stars as inhuman, evil barbarians. The public events organized around the exhibit, including a workshop led by Khalil Bendib, a cartoonist well know for anti-Semitic images, reveal MECA's strategy to use the museum to disseminate highly-charged propaganda and advance their political-bias.

Sponsoring two programs that provide an overview of Israeli history, culture and politics to East Bay elected officials and their aides.

We also provide films, information, posters, curriculum and other educational resources to Jewish congregational, pre-school, day school and midrashot educational institutions in the East Bay as well as public schools. For more information or to discuss a program: 510.809.4953 or riva@jfed.org.