New leadership for the New Israel Fund

September 2, 2015 by J-Wire News Service
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New Israel Fund (NIF) Australia has today announced its new leadership team.

Taking over as NIF Australia’s new president is Dr Ilana Snyder from Melbourne.

Ilana Snyder

Ilana Snyder

Snyder is emeritus professor of education at Monash University and sits on the boards of Monash University’s Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation (ACJC) and the Australian Book Review. Snyder’s research focuses on the changes to literacy associated with the use of digital media in in educational contexts. Her research has always paid attention to the literacy needs of disadvantaged communities.

Snyder commented: “I am excited to be taking on this role – from its inception, NIF has spoken to both my connection to Israel and my deeply held values of social justice.

“I look forward to strengthening our role in the Australian community – by engaging on some of the most important issues facing Israeli society, including human rights in the Occupied Territories, how to combat price tag attacks and racism, fighting for civil marriage and developing a more progressive discussion about Israel.”

Irving Wallach is leaving the role of president, while Mandi Katz is also stepping down as vice-president. Both have been members of NIF Australia’s board since its formation and will remain as directors.

Wallach noted: “In 2014 NIF Australia raised more than $500,000, which is outstanding for an organisation barely four years old. This shows the impact we have as a progressive voice in the Jewish community. In Israel, NIF funded organisations empower cutting-edge social change and human rights programs.

“NIF Australia has made huge progress in supporting and explaining the work being done in Israel by NIF grantees to promote equality and democracy This is a good time to hand over the reins to a new leadership team.”

Sydney-based lawyer Steven Glass is NIF Australia’s new vice-president.

Steven Glass

Steven Glass

Glass is a partner at Gilbert + Tobin, a former national president of AUJS, and is on the board of the Asylum Seekers Centre in Sydney. He was a board member of NIF Australia at its establishment.

Glass added: “NIF’s work reflects Israel’s reality and gives voice to the values of many in our community. It’s important to hear stories about the work of NIF’s grantees to advance equality and democracy in Israel – like ensuring equal treatment of all Jews regardless of where their rabbi was ordained, promoting women’s rights, building a shared society between Jewish and Palestinian Israelis, and supporting a fairer distribution of resources to marginalised communities in Israel.”

Katz said that seeing the growth of NIF in Australia had been very gratifying. “In only four years, NIF has established a very important presence in the community. With the introduction this year of a program which saw younger Australian Jews from Melbourne and Sydney becoming NIF fellows, NIF’s voice will just get stronger.”

Founded in 2011, the New Israel Fund Australia Foundation aims to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of civil and human rights, social and economic justice, democracy, diversity, reconciliation and peace.

NIF Australia is a home of progressive engagement with Israel that seeks to create active and deep connections between Australian Jews, their communities and Israel.

NIF also raises funds to empower Israeli civil society through the New Israel Fund. Founded in 1979, NIF is a partnership between Israelis and the Diaspora, and is the leading organisation committed to equality and democracy for all Israelis.


13 Responses to “New leadership for the New Israel Fund”
  1. Michael Burd says:

    Followers of NIF , j street and other such fringe extremist organizations are the best advocates
    the Palestinians and Arabs have at their disposal .
    If only these fools would dedicate as much of their time supporting
    Jewish human rights causes .

  2. Leon Poddebsky says:

    Ironically, NIF implicitly forgives the ‘Palestinian’ Arab leaders, such as they are, for being the root cause of any distress that is suffered by their people.
    That’s how sincere NIF is about “human rights.”
    Instilling in Arab toddlers’ minds and hearts Nazi attitudes to Jews-for NIF that’s OK.
    Criminally exploiting Arab children as human shields- that’s OK for NIF.
    Denying the Jewish People the right to national self-determination- for NIF that’s OK.

  3. Leon Poddebsky says:

    It is hugely significant that NIF, by default and proactive advocacy, as demonstrated in this report, condones the Hamas genocidal Charter, is a collaborator in the lie of “occupation”, callously disregards the egregious human rights violations against Israeli Jews committed by ‘Palestinian’ Arab society, both rank and file, as well as leadership; ignores the aggressive, chauvinistic, bellicose, politicidal nature of that society, which is a constant fomentor of conflict and war.

    Its activities, moreover, contribute to the growth of antisemitism directed against Jews who reside in the Dispersion.
    In short, NIF is a stain upon Jewish history.

  4. Miriam Weinstein says:

    NIF is a branch of the Reform/”Liberal” “religion”. (see if you can find a single leader in that organisation that is a member of an orthodox Shul.)

    When first founded the Reformers deleted all mention of Zion and Jerusalem from their prayer-books. Their current behaviour shows that nothing has changed.

  5. Leon Poddebsky says:

    Divorced from Middle Eastern reality or desirous of terminating Jewish national self-determination to pursue comfortable exilic existence—-that sums up this element.

  6. Michael Burd says:

    Not surprising Left Wing ACJC and extremist left wing Org NIF bedfellows… 500K raised Huh perhaps money going to the usual Pro Palestinian NGO groups to fight Israel at the UN ..??

  7. Erica Edelman says:

    Why is Snyder referring to “Occupied” Territories?
    She had Better change her terminology to “Disputed Territories”!
    Nothing wrong with social justice but who’s side are you on???
    Big RED flag!

    • David Adler says:

      RED indeed, in more ways than one.
      NIF has given money directly and indirectly to organisations which damage Israel.
      It is a toxic organisation reminiscent of the pre WWII Jews who helped the Nazis.

    • Mike Gold says:

      Erica, if that was the yardstick, then we’d be questioning which side Ariel Sharon was on. Not sure anyone could, with a straight face, question Arik’s Zionism

      • Erica Edelman says:

        At least Sharon’s motives were not counter-intuitive!
        This organization needs to be shut
        Down PRONTO
        Members of NIF need a history lesson, a lesson in current mid
        East politics ,
        A video of Obama’s latest dangerous proposal (Iran) and a serious
        Soul- search!
        The last thing Israel needs is NIF!

        • Leon Poddebsky says:

          Erica, don’t be misled by Mike Gold’s statements.
          Ariel Sharon relinquished the Gaza Strip not because he thought that Israel had no sovereign rights there; he did it out of pragmatism, believing that the USA would honour its commitment to support legitimate Jewish claims to sovereignty IN (not necessarily over ALL) of Judea and Samaria.

          I heard Sharon tell a US TV interviewer that the territories are DISPUTED, not occupied.

      • Leon Poddebsky says:

        Mike, Ariel Sharon was inconsistent in his use of terminology.
        When he made the decision to relinquish Gaza, in order to rationalise, defend and justify his step, he used the term, “Occupation,” but I actually witnessed (with my own eyes and ears, mind you) an interview on FOX News, where he corrected the interviewer, and Ariel Sharon unequivocally used the term, “DISPUTED TERRITORIES.”
        Did the “right-wing” Fox channel put those words into his mouth?

        Objectively, too, as David Singer often points out cogently, and as Professor Julius Stone in the past, and Professor Kontorovich does nowadays, Judea and Samaria are disputed territories, not occupied ones.
        Just because the Arabs who live there don’t like the Jews, doesn’t make the territory “occupied.”
        Many Arabs living inside the 1949 Armistice Green Line don’t like the Jews either, so …..?

        • Michael Burd says:

          There are literally hundreds or perhaps thousands of NGO and so – called Human rights organisations that obsess over Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims human rights none of which give a sh-T about the Jews.

          NIF supporters are best advocates the Palestinians have at their disposal. If only the Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims had a similar number of their own Jewish useful idiots!

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