Boundless reflects our outlook toward education and partnership — open and expansive. No less importantly, it speaks to the energizing and empowering culture we are cultivating around Israel education and engagement.
Israel is inextricably linked with the past, present and future of the Jewish people. To our minds, it is a living laboratory — meaning Israel is an ever-evolving project rooted in Jewish particularism, driven by universalism and navigating the real world. Like a laboratory, there are continuous adjustments to be made and knowledge to absorb. There are successes and there are failures. And it is in this learning space that we can discover lessons to inform how we live and inspire us to shape our local and global communities.
And yet, Israel has become the boogeyman of polite conversation, a partisan political football and red herring of social justice movements. We — alongside a growing cadre of communal and educational professionals — have watched with growing concern as individuals and organizations have struggled to navigate the tumultuous waters of anti-Zionist and antisemitic rhetoric.
Organizations can no longer sidestep escalating confrontations. Regardless of whether Israel is central to their mission, Jewish leaders are being pressured to take a stance. Their action — or inaction — then becomes a barometer to assess an organization’s moral worthiness.
It’s hard to pinpoint the moment when engaging with Israel became worthy of hazard pay, but here we are. The most recent outbreak of violence between Israel and Hamas made clear that we are ill-prepared for the tsunami of attacks that sporadically erupt from our — insert as appropriate — social circles, lecture halls, social media feeds or workplaces. The result is a creeping culture of self-silence and shame that has created a vacuum leaving room for the voices that argue Israel was born and lives in sin. If we remain cowered in silence, those voices will continue to hijack the discourse and give license to antisemitism.
Big challenges demand bold action. We are proud to launch Boundless, a new nonprofit think-action tank partnering with community leaders to revitalize Israel education and take bold collective action to combat Jew-hatred. We do this by working with organizations and leaders across the Jewish world to spark collaborative innovation, build learning communities, analyze data-driven messaging and serve as a repository to distill and disseminate research across the field.
Why the name Boundless? Boundless reflects our outlook toward education and partnership — open and expansive. No less importantly, it speaks to the energizing and empowering culture we are cultivating around Israel education and engagement. There is no glass ceiling or limit to what we believe we can be achieved by working in partnership.
Who are we? We are Dr. Rachel Fish and Aviva Klompas, two unapologetic Zionists taking a stand against the intensifying attacks on Israel’s legitimacy and the venomous spread of antisemitism. Integrity and honesty serve as our north star. Always. We are committed to excellence and take bold and courageous risks in service of our mission.
What do we believe? Facts are real and opinions need space to be aired and explored. Honesty takes precedence over blind tribal loyalty. We don’t cower to mobs, surrender to rhetoric or choose silence at the expense of integrity. Boundless is building brave spaces to awaken curiosity and catalyze powerful partnership.
Why now? Israel remains a deeply divisive topic for American Jewry, exacerbated by the hyperpolarization and partisanship dominating American political culture. Even as Israel is redefining its place in the Middle East through peace and normalization agreements, we continue to see fraying relations with North American communities. We are unwilling to allow our detractors to define the discourse or set the policies that ultimately impact our security.
At the same time, as educators, we must offer a more thorough and honest accounting of the reality of Israel and the millions of diverse people living in a land imbued with sacred history and animated by manifold national, ideological, religious and cultural narratives. At times these diverse voices, competing values and multiple visions seem irreconcilable, yet it is precisely in this cacophony that we must find the patience to listen and learn. We believe that there is no contradiction between championing peace, supporting Israel and supporting Palestinians. All people are entitled to self-definition and self-determination, and both are prerequisites to building trust and respect.
What do you do? No one person or organization has all the answers, and so we work in community while building community. We are honored to join a robust ecosystem alongside many incredible organizations, educators and professionals whom we deeply admire. We envision Boundless as a central address to empower Jewish professionals with the content, context and confidence to educate their communities about Israel and take bold action to combat antisemitism. We will catalyze partnerships between organizations with distinct expertise to tackle complex challenges; analyze how language is being manipulated and utilized as a weapon, particularly online; and serve as a repository for research findings and identify critical gaps in our communal knowledge.
We are proud to launch Boundless to chart a new course and begin new conversations that will propel global Jewry’s relationship with Israel into the indefinite future. Find us at www.boundlessisrael.org to learn more and join us on this bold new journey.
Rachel Fish, Ph.D. is co-founder & scholar warrior at Boundless. Aviva Klompas is co-founder & innovator adventurer at Boundless.