New Israel Fund’s global chief to visit Australia

May 2, 2012 by J-Wire
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Daniel Sokatch, chief executive officer of the New Israel Fund, will visit Sydney and Melbourne in May on a speaking tour for the Australian branch of the pro-­‐Israel organisation.

Daniel Sokatch

News of Mr Sokatch’s visit comes just one week after the Israeli Ambassador to Australia, Yuval Rotem, sent an official greeting to NIF Australia on the eve of Yom Ha’atzmaut, in which he acknowledged “the commitment of the New Israel Fund to the vision in our Declaration of Independence of Israel as both a Jewish homeland and a shared society at peace with itself and its neighbours”.

Mr Sokatch is highly regarded as a writer and speaker and appears regularly on major TV and radio networks and in major print and online publications around the world.

He has been included four times in the New York Jewish Forward

newspaper’s annual list of the 50 most influential Jewish decision-­‐ makers and opinion-­‐shapers – in 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2010.

Last year he was one of a select group of high-­‐profile Jewish leaders invited by President Barack Obama to meet him at the White House.

After briefly enrolling in Rabbinical School in Israel in 1994, Mr Sokatch decided instead to attend law school and then earned a master’s degree in Middle Eastern studies before pursuing his passion for social justice.

He founded the Progressive Jewish Alliance in Los Angeles, which grew to be the city’s largest liberal Jewish organisation, and then became chief executive of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco.

He took up his present post as chief executive of NIF in 2009.
“NIF is based on a simple idea: individuals who care about Israel can join together, speak out and invest in social change groups that help Israel to be a more free and open society,” said Mr Sokatch, who visited Australia in 2010 to sow the seeds of NIF Australia.

He added: “We stand for a set of core values of the Jewish people, including justice and freedom, equality and peace. As pro-­‐Israel advocates, we work day in and day out to the best of our ability to help Israel, the national homeland of our people, to embody these values.”

Mr Sokatch arrives in Australia almost one year after the Australian branch of the New Israel Fund was formally launched by NIF president Naomi Chazan.

NIF Australia president Robin Margo said: “We are indebted to Daniel Sokatch for his work in helping establish NIF in Australia and eager to build on the successful visit last year of NIF president Naomi Chazan.

“Daniel’s visit offers our supporters a wonderful opportunity to hear from the frontline about NIF’s work in Israel and it is also an opportunity for those who want to know more about NIF.”

For more than three decades, the New Israel Fund has funded Israeli NGOs recognised by the Israeli government and it is widely credited with building civil society in Israel. It has offices or branches in Israel, the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Australia.


8 Responses to “New Israel Fund’s global chief to visit Australia”
  1. Anyone noticed that the NIF strategy, followed by excellent “party” discipline, is that NIF should not entertain any public discussions/dispute on views against its policies and practices !!! If anything of supportive kind would be allowed to be published it would, then, be under the “revealed” FIRST NAME ONLY. Wow for their courage of convictions !!
    The official dogma is that NIF should continue to address the credulous oblivious of the well documented criticism to its detractory nature. Consistent with this policy is also the “tradition” that visiting “luminaries” of its fold can be seen and heard strictly by ” Invitation Only ” lest they would be faced with the justified questioning of the unjustifiable nature of their farcical propaganda.

  2. In our world of clarity New Israel Fund may try to portray a complex profile of commitment to “social justice”, thus “embracing” a very acceptable, decent, notion. NIF may also try to convice that the so called good stuff is consistent with severely criticising and funding a large raft of NGO with determined ANTI Israeli society agendas. In the same world and clear terms of comprehension of complex notions the “balanced” genuine help and assistance mixed wilfully with the severe criticism of Israel results in one, inevitable effect, and that is the seriously damaging effect NIF has on Israel’s image and , indeed, internal tensions, As a result, those “good” deeds are anulled, the vanish by virtue of the irresponsible and UNaccptable effects of the NEGATIVE side of its activities, wshich, in fact is its TRUEi NATURE.

    Back in the romantic era, polarised characters were dominating the societal ethos. Passion was the main theme. The ultimate expression of love, the apex of emotion, was death. Passionately loved women would end up assasinated by the most devoted lovers, lovers would end up killing themselves in the name of “eternal love”, indeed eternal, as in death. After Goethe’s publication of his famous novel ” The Sufferings of Young Werther” suicide became not only fashionable but de rigeour. A splendid ultimate expression of devotion……
    What’s that got to do with NIF ??!! A lot . What matters ONLY is that the obsessive support in terms of MILLIONS of dollars by NIF for a raft on NGO with a destructive, anti Israel agenda CANNOT be seen as part and parcel of a “necessary” exercise in “social justice”, and , when isolated, it may not be ballanced against the “good” deeds. Realistically, the death of the passionate soul destroys love itself, unless visiting tombstones can be an equal replacement to holding hands along the Champs Elysee.

    To the very diplomat Ambassador Rotem, his attempt at changing the spots of the NIF destructive feline, could only be a generous and noble gesture, but only valid if and when NIF would abandon its true nature, that of killing Zionism .
    The rest, all the vacuous rethoric pegged on the Declaration of Independence, carries the bad smell of duplicity revealed.
    Just like Peter Singer, I would not support NIF in its current shape and substance as long as I shall remain a passionate Zionist.

  3. gabrielle says:

    He is comming in May. When in May?

    • remember the ” Wundershoenen monat May (sic) ” !!?? He’s coming to ruin it , that’s when.

    • Mandi Katz says:

      Hi Gabrielle – thanks for your interest. Daniel will speak in Sydney on Sunday 20 May and Monday 21 May, and in Melbourne on Tuesday 22 May and Wednesday 23 May – you can see details and register your attendance at

      You can also subscribe (on the website) to receive emails and updates directly.

  4. singer says:

    Interesting that Israeli Ambassador Yuval Rotem acknowledges “the commitment of the New Israel Fund to the vision in our Declaration of Independence of Israel as both a Jewish homeland and a shared society at peace with itself and its neighbours”.

    This may be the vision of the Declaration of Independence but it also contains this express statement:

    “it [Israel] will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; ”

    The New Israel Fund will support organizations that call for a boycott of the goods and services produced by Jews who live in Ariel – as long as long as they don’t also call for a similar boycott of the identical goods and services produced by Jews in Tel Aviv.

    The New Israel Fund will support organizations that call for the boycotting of lectures in London given by Jewish speakers who live in Efrat – as long as they don’t call for a similar boycott of lectures by Jewish speakers who live in Haifa.

    Is this policy of supporting organizations discriminating between Jews based on where they live part of the vision of the Declaration of Independence?

    Isn’t such policy a total negation of the the Declaration of Independence assuring “complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants”

    Why are some Jews treated more favourably than other Jews in New Israel Fund’s policies? Shouldn’t they all be treated equally – as the Declaration of Independence unequivocally asserts?

    New Israel Fund opposes the reconstitution of the Jewish National Home in the West Bank – as it is perfectly entitled to do.

    But it should immediately cease its support of organizations that punish Jews who happen to live there. It is a policy of discrimination that should have no place in New Israel Fund’s activities.

    Beware the New Israel Fund.

    It does some good things without doubt – but the above policy in my opinion is discriminatory, should be no part of its program and clearly breaches the express provisions of the Declaration of Independence.

    Whilst it continues to trumpet that policy – New Israel Fund does not have my support.

  5. And, suddenly, sacred cow NIF may not be criticized !!!!!!


  6. Just in case someone falls for the glamour and hype associated with the above descrption of NIF , actually, one of the most active organisation inside and outside Israel determined to UNDERMINE the well established social justice principles and PRACTICES currently seen in Israel, unaware Jews and non Jews, NIF – New Israel Found – has been termed repeatedly in the Knesset as one of the most insidious sponsors of NGO designed to compromise the Jewish State.

    I would really like to see if and what Ambassador Rotem would have conveyed to NIF.
    The very inclusion of the word “shared society” when reference to Israel indicates the obsession NIF has with its “concerns” for the palestinians, well ahead of the welfare for the Jews of Israel.

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