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Israeli-American Council

Israeli-American Council (IAC)
Formation 2007
Legal status nonprofit organization
Headquarters Los Angeles, California
Region served
Boston, Florida, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Jersey, New York, Washington, D.C.
Shawn Evenhaim
Shoham Nicolet
Website .org.israeliamericanwww

The Israeli-American Council (IAC; Israeli-American community that strengthens our next generations, the American Jewish community and the State of Israel."[1]


  • Overview 1
  • Goals 2
  • History 3
  • National Growth 4
  • Leadership 5
  • Regions 6
  • Programming 7
  • Israeli-American National Conference 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


The Israeli-American Council (IAC), originally known as the Israeli Leadership Council (ILC), was founded in Washington, D.C.. By 2015, the IAC had developed a national presence by establishing seven regional offices throughout the United States: Los Angeles (national headquarters), New York, Washington D.C., Las Vegas, Miami, Boston and New Jersey.[1]


The IAC outlines its goals as the following:[1]

  • "Connect the next generation to the community, their Jewish identity, the Hebrew language, and the State of Israel."
  • "Serve as a professional and financial resource for initiatives that support the development of an active and unified Israeli-American community with strong connections to the State of Israel, now and in the future."
  • "Strengthen the relationships between the Israeli-American community and the Israeli community in Israel."
  • "Build bridges between the Israeli-American and Jewish American communities in the United States."
  • "Encourage a culture of giving, activism, and connection to Israel through personal examples of community involvement."


IAC Celebrate Israel Festival in Los Angeles (April 2013)

In the summer of 2006 during the

  • Official website

External links

  1. ^ a b c "About the IAC". Israeli American Council. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "The history of the IAC". Israeli American Council. 
  3. ^ a b "יורדים להתקפה" (PDF). Yedioth Ahronoth (in Hebrew). May 15, 2009. 
  4. ^ "TIMELINE: A history of the Israeli-American Council". The Jewish Journal. May 18, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "The Israeli-Americans: Who they are, what they want, where they’re headed, why they matter". The Jewish Journal. May 14, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "ספריית פיג'מה מתרחבת". Yedioth Ahronoth (in Hebrew). July 2, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Sagi Balasha: the new head of the Israeli Leadership Council". The Jewish Journal. April 15, 2012. 
  8. ^ "רשת הנתינה" [The Giving Network]. The Jewish Journal (in Hebrew). November 14, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Sold-out concert garners 24,000 Hours of community service pledges". The Jewish Journal. November 22, 2011. 
  10. ^ "מקהלה של 6,000 איש". Yedioth Ahronoth (in Hebrew). November 30, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Guess who's bringing the Israel Festival back?". The Jewish Journal. April 25, 2012. 
  12. ^ "בקרוב נפגשים בפארק". Yedioth Ahronoth (in Hebrew). March 1, 2012. 
  13. ^ "עצמאות בפארק". Yedioth Ahronoth (in Hebrew). May 4, 2012. 
  14. ^ "'הכל בגלל שאיכפת לי, אני נהנה לתת'" (in Hebrew). Israeli Life USA. October 25, 2012. 
  15. ^ "אנחנו לא רק ישראלים ולא רק אמריקאים. אנחנו ישראלים-אמריקאים" (PDF). Shavua Israeli (in Hebrew). September 2013. 
  16. ^ "Israeli Leadership Council changes name". The Jewish Journal. March 13, 2013. 
  17. ^ "קהילה בפעולה: 2 מיליון דולר גוייסו בערב הגאלה של הקהילה הישראלית בלוס אנג’לס". Shavua Israeli (in Hebrew). March 17, 2013. 
  18. ^ "לראשונה בארה"ב: הקהילה הישראלית-אמריקאית מתארגנת מחוף-אל-חוף" (in Hebrew). Israeli Life USA. September 15, 2013. 
  19. ^ "ארגון הקהילה הישראלית-אמריקאית (IAC) מתרחב". Yedioth Ahronoth (in Hebrew). September 15, 2013. 
  20. ^ "IAC to support Israeli expat community initiatives across US". The Jerusalem Post. September 12, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Israeli-American Council aims to unite Israeli community in U.S.". JTA. September 12, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Sheldon Adelson puts money behind nationwide expansion of Israeli American Council". The Jewish Journal. September 10, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Israeli American Council to open New York regional office". The Jerusalem Post. May 19, 2014. 
  24. ^ "IAC goes to Washington ... and plans to stay". The Jewish Journal. March 4, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Israeli American Council expands to Vegas". The Jerusalem Post. April 4, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Israeli-American organization extending to Florida". Sun Sentinel. February 10, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Israeli-American Council Opens Boston Office". The Jewish Journal Massachusetts. March 27, 2014. 
  28. ^ "N.J. branch of Israeli-American Council opens Paramus headquarters". The Jewish Standard. January 2, 2015. 
  29. ^ "Israeli Americans, Newly Confident". The Jewish Week. November 4, 2014. 
  30. ^ "לקראת תשע"ה: אמריקה בידינו / דו"ח ארגון הקהילה הישראלית-אמריקאית". Shavua Israeli (in Hebrew). September 23, 2014. 
  31. ^ "ארגון IAC מטביע חותם". Yedioth Ahronoth (in Hebrew). November 4, 2014. 
  32. ^ "The IAC’s growth spurt". TRIBE. April 29, 2014. 
  33. ^ "ישראלים בארצות הברית ראש השנה תשע"ה: היסטוריה בפעולה" (in Hebrew). Israeli Life USA. September 20, 2014. 
  34. ^ "Living in America, but proud to be an Israeli". Haaretz. November 10, 2014. 
  35. ^ a b "Israeli-American Council jumps onto national stage with a splash". The Jewish Journal. November 11, 2014. 
  36. ^ a b "At inaugural conference of Israeli-American group, a sense of tentativeness". JTA. November 11, 2014. 
  37. ^ a b "Billionaires Adelson and Saban, at odds in campaigns, unite on Israel and hit Obama". The Washington Post. November 9, 2014. 
  38. ^ "ישראלים-אמריקאים בוושינגטון" (in Hebrew). November 14, 2014. 
  39. ^ "How Many Israelis Live in America?". Haaretz. June 20, 2014. 
  40. ^ "Board of Directors". Israeli American Council. 
  41. ^ "Our Team". Israeli American Council. 
  42. ^ "Regional Offices". Israeli American Council. 
  43. ^ "IAC National Programs". Israeli American Council. 
  44. ^ "Celebrate Israel Fest brings Jewish homeland to its people". The Jewish Journal. May 14, 2014. 
  45. ^ "Israelis celebrating Independence Day — in California". The Jerusalem Post. April 23, 2015. 
  46. ^ a b "Israeli American Council Announces Major U.S. Expansion Plan". eJewish Philanthropy. September 11, 2013. 
  47. ^ "Dor Chadash becoming part of Israeli-American Council". JTA. February 14, 2014. 
  48. ^ "My Family Story to Expand in U.S.". The Forward. November 21, 2014. 
  49. ^ "לראשונה בארה"ב: מחנה קיץ מסובסד לילדים ישראלים-אמריקנים" (in Hebrew). Israeli Life USA. April 9, 2014. 
  50. ^ "Creating campus Maccabees". The Jerusalem Post. February 2, 2015. 
  51. ^ "New Birthright program is courting U.S. Hebrew speakers". JTA. August 28, 2014. 
  52. ^ "Founding little Israel in Brooklyn". Haaretz. August 10, 2013. 
  53. ^ "Israelis import sabra kiddie culture to New York". The Times of Israel. August 31, 2014. 
  54. ^ "In U.S., Israelis Claim A Foothold". The Jewish Week. May 27, 2015. 


The first annual conference of IAC leadership and Israeli-American community leaders from around the United States was held in November 2014 in Washington, D.C. and drew over 750 participants and speakers.[35][36][37]

Israeli-American National Conference

  • Celebrate Israel: A festival to celebrate Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day). The inaugural festival in 2012 in Los Angeles drew 15,000 people.[44] In 2015 there were five Celebrate Israel festivals throughout the country drawing over 40,000 participants.[45]
  • IAC Community Events: Large scale events that engage thousands of Israeli-Americans to celebrate Israeli culture and Jewish holidays such as Sukkot and Shavuot.
  • IAC Care: Volunteering opportunities, activities and events that aim to foster a culture of giving and volunteerism in the Israeli-American community.[46]
  • IAC Young Professionals Programs: A group of programs including IAC Bina and IAC Dor Chadash dedicated to strengthening the ties between Israeli and American Jews while providing a forum for cultural, educational and social gathering.[46][47]
  • IAC Sifriyat Pijama B’America: A Hebrew and Jewish family engagement literacy program promoting Jewish values by mailing free Hebrew children's literature and music to families on a monthly basis to children ages 2–8.[5][6]
  • IAC My Family Story: A partnership program with Beit Hatfutsot for 5th-8th graders and their families to explore their heritage and roots by creating an artistic family tree.[48]
  • IAC Machane Kachol Lavan: An overnight summer camp for children ages 8–15 conducted entirely in Hebrew. The camp was successfully launched in 2014 in Big Bear, California.[49] The camp expanded to the East Coast in 2015.[5]
  • IAC Mishelanu: A college campus leadership program that allows Israeli-American students on campus to meet, explore their Israeli-Jewish identity and their connection to the State of Israel.[50]
  • Taglit Birthright, IAC Shelanu: A special Hebrew Track Birthright Israel Program designed specifically for Israeli-Americans and other Hebrew speaking young adults.[51]
  • IAC Keshet: A Hebrew after school immersion and dual language program for Hebrew speaking and non-Hebrew speaking children.[52] KesheTOT is the sister program to IAC Keshet that is tailored for toddlers.[53]
  • IAC Tzav 8: The program was designed as a way to quickly activate the community in times of need. Community members can sign up to join the program which notifies them via texts and emails when a pro-Israel rally is scheduled.[54]
  • IAC Beyachad: A program that helps, guide, and support volunteer leaders to develop a series of grassroots events within the Israeli-American community that strengthen cultural identity.
  • IAC Concierge: A nationwide program providing assistance and services to the Israeli-American community. The program will provide its services through web-based resources, live chat and a 24/7 1-800 phone number.
  • IAC Network: An online platform for the community to exchange ideas, receive services, build relationships and connect for community-building activities.
  • IAC Gvanim: A leadership program exploring the Israeli-American and Jewish identities that helps participants address the challenges of the next generation through an in-depth learning process. The goal is to inspire them to lead community projects.
  • IAC Advocacy: Provides the tools, the training and support to help Israeli-Americans become effective advocates for Israel in their communities, in their workplaces and on campus. Programming includes Chugay Bait, events with high profile speakers and partnerships with other organizations.
  • IAC Atidim: A college prep program for Israeli-American 11th and 12th graders. Taught by current Israeli-American college student mentors, this one day college life workshop gives high-school students an insider’s perspective on college life.

Main programs:[43]

The IAC offers programming to develop and maintain a strong connection to Israeli-Americans’ Israeli heritage, Jewish identity and ties to the State of Israel. Additionally, the IAC offers cultural, educational, leadership, advocacy and family programming in both Hebrew and English for all age groups.


  • Boston: Regional Council Co-Chairs - Rachel Chafetz & Ilan Segev; Regional Director - Na’ama Ore
  • Florida: Regional Council Chair - Rani Ben-David; Regional Director - Denise Tamir
  • Las Vegas: Regional Council Chair - Dr. Miriam Adelson; Regional Director - Amir Eden
  • Los Angeles: Regional Council Chair - Miri Shepher; Regional Director - Dikla Kadosh
  • New Jersey: Regional Council Co-Chairs - Avinoam Efraim & Uri Zilberman; Director - Shai Nemesh
  • New York: Regional Council Co-Chairs - Rachel N. Davidson & Gil Galanos; Regional Director - Yehudit Feinstein-Mentesh
  • Washington, D.C.: Regional Council Co-Chairs - Gilly Arie & Ayelet (Ellie) Lichtash

The IAC has local branches in the following regions:[42]


  • Previous Chairmen: Eli Tene, Danny Alpert
  • Previous CEO: Shoham Nicolet

Past Leadership[2]

  • Sagi Balasha - Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • Miri Belsky - Deputy CEO
  • Miriam Alpern - Chief Marketing & Communications Officer
  • Shanee Feig Kochlani - Chief Programming Officer
  • Shely Medved - Chief Financial Officer
  • Tamar Nissim - Chief Operating Officer

Senior Staff[41]

  • Shawn Evenhaim (Chairman)
  • Avi Almozlino MD
  • Danny Alpert
  • Gilly Arie
  • Rani Ben-David
  • Tamir Cohen
  • Rachel N. Davidson
  • Yochanan Lowie
  • Adam Milstein
  • Shoham Nicolet
  • Yossi Rabinovitz
  • Naty Saidoff
  • Miri Shepher

National Board[40]


IAC inaugural Israeli-American National Conference (November 2014)

The IAC plans to open more regional offices to meet the growing needs of the estimated 500,000 – 800,000 Israeli-Americans currently living in the United States.[39]

In November 2014 the IAC held its inaugural Israeli-American Community National Conference in Washington, D.C. The event drew over 750 community members and leaders from 23 states. The conference program featured top political leaders from both the U.S. and Israel, as well as prominent voices from the Israeli-American business and philanthropic communities.[35][36][37][38]

By 2015, the IAC had established seven regional offices: Los Angeles (national headquarters), New York,[23] Washington D.C.,[24] Las Vegas,[25] Miami,[26] Boston,[27] and New Jersey.[28] The IAC National Board grew adding representatives from all of the regions including Avi Almozlino (Boston), Rachel Davidson (NYC), Yohanan Lowie (Las Vegas), Rani Ben David (Florida) and Gilly Arie (Washington D.C.). With more than 70 professional staff members, and an annual budget of $17.5 million, the organization has been serving 200,000 participants with a wide array of programming and events.[29][30][31][32][33][34]

In September 2013, the IAC’s National Expansion Plan was launched, offering a model to engage more than 600,000 Israeli-Americans throughout the United States under one umbrella.[18][19][20][21][22]

[17][16] In 2013, after a rebranding process, the organization renamed itself the Israeli-American Council (IAC). The new name was announced during its Annual Gala Dinner in March 2013. At the gala, philanthropists and longtime pro-Israel activists Dr. Miriam and

IAC Celebrate Israel Festival in Miami, Florida (May 2015)

National Growth

In May 2012, Shawn Evenhaim was elected as the new Chairman of the Board, leading the organization's rapid growth in the upcoming years together with CEO Sagi Balasha and the ILC's Board of Directors including Adam Milstein, Danny Alpert, Naty Saidoff, Yossi Rabinovitz, Miri Shepher, Tamir Cohen and Shoham Nicolet.[14] Between the summer of 2011 and the summer of 2012, more than 30,000 people participated in ILC programs and events. By mid-2013 the organization nearly doubled its activity, with more than 50,000 participants. As a result, additional programming was developed, and existing programs became more robust to serve the community’s evolving demands and needs.[15]

In September 2011, the ILC recruited its first full-time CEO, Sagi Balasha, who helped steer the organization through a period of rapid growth and expansion.[7] In November 2011, the volunteer initiative ILC Care was launched with a concert attended by 6,000 people at Universal Studios, Hollywood.[8][9][10] In April 2012, the ILC initiated the Celebrate Israel Festival, a festival celebrating Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) attended by more than 15,000 people in Los Angeles.[11][12][13]

[6][5] In the following two years, the ILC started to support a variety of grassroots organizations in the community. One of the first organizations was the

IAC Tzav 8 pro-Israel rally in Los Angeles during Operation Protective Edge (July 2014)

[2] In 2008 the ILC launched project Tzav 8, utilizing technology to mobilize thousands of community members to publicly support Israel. The effort resulted in a rally of more than 6,000 people in front of the Los Angeles

"Live for Sderot" was the ILC's first major initiative, benefiting the southern Israeli town under regular rocket attack.[3] In a joint effort with the Israeli Consulate, the ILC brought together 1,800 attendees, including Hollywood celebrities and leading public officials. The 2008 presidential candidates, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain, sent their support via video-messages. The funds raised at the event helped to bring educational technologies to schools in Sderot. This was the first time Israeli-Americans led a major fundraiser and community event for the entire Los Angeles Jewish community.[5]

By 2008 the ILC had attracted many business leaders from the community including Beny Alagem, Leo David and Haim Saban, who became key supporters of the ILC.[5]

In July 2007, approximately 80 Israeli-American business leaders gathered to at the Beverly Hilton Hotel for the ILC launch event, featuring the Mayor of Los Angeles and Israel's Consul General. Leading the ILC were the founding board members: Adam Milstein, Steve Erdman, Eli Marmour, Naty Saidoff, Shawn Evenhaim, Yossi Rabinovitz and Nissan Pardo. They nominated Danny Alpert and Eli Tene as Co-Chairs of the Board. Shoham Nicolet served as the Founding Executive Director.[2]

Recognizing the community’s untapped potential, Israel's Consul General at that time, Ehud Danoch, called two local Israeli-American community veterans, Danny Alpert and Eli Marmour.[2][4] Danny set up a preliminary meeting at his home with active community members Adam Milstein, Eli Tene, Steve Erdman, Naty Saidoff, Eli Marmour and Shoham Nicolet. They founded the Israeli Leadership Council (ILC) with the goal of building an Israeli-American community to strengthen future generations, the Jewish community and the State of Israel.[2]


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