Israeli American Council Announces Major U.S. Expansion Plan

iac-logoThe Israeli American Council (IAC) has announced a nationwide expansion plan to unite the nearly 800,000 Israeli-Americans who reside in communities across the United States.

The IAC’s expansion plan includes opening a national headquarters and local chapters across the country to provide community and national level structure for Israeli-Americans. Programs will include cultural, educational, advocacy and social activities across age groups. Starting immediately, the IAC will work together with other organizations and also offer guidance and funding to Israeli-American and pro-Israel initiatives throughout the U.S. IAC grant application guidelines can be found on the IAC website.

The number of Israeli-Americans and their children residing in the U.S. may range anywhere from 500,000-1,000,000. According to recent studies by researchers at the Tel-Aviv based Reut Institute, Dr. Marianne Sanua of Florida Atlantic University, and others, Israeli-Americans and their children living in the U.S. total approximately 500,000 people while IAC estimates are closer to 800,000 nationwide. According to these reports, Israeli-Americans reside in three main geographical areas: Los Angeles, New York/New Jersey and Florida. Additional communities are spread across numerous cities, including Chicago, San Francisco and the Bay area, San Diego, Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas, Boston, Atlanta, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Baltimore and others.

According to Adam Milstein, the chair of the IAC’s Expansion Committee, “a primary reason for the IAC’s expansion effort is the critical need to embark on a major campaign within Israeli-American communities to ensure that Israeli-Americans and their children: 1) continue their best efforts to strengthen the relationship between the State of Israel and the U.S.; 2) remain connected to the Israeli people and their culture; and 3) maintain their Jewish identity and stay committed to their Jewish values and their heritage.”

Current IAC programs include: Tzav 8 (recruiting thousands for pro-Israel rallies); Financing the Israeli “Shlichim” at all major campuses in Southern California; Organizing and funding the Los Angeles Independence Day Festival – the largest Jewish festival in North America, as well as dozens of ceremonies, holidays and mass events for the community; Sifriyat Pijama B’America, through which 10,000 families nationwide enjoy Hebrew bedtime books sent to their kids by mail, free of charge on a monthly basis; IAC-BINA club, consisting of approximately 1,500 Israeli and American Jewish young adults who convene discussions and activities relating to Jewish identity and support for Israel; establishing and funding the IAC-Care project in which thousands of the community members volunteer and organize large scale drives; and Mishelanu (the leadership program for Israeli-Americans students).

IAC activities are funded by its board of directors, its members, and donors within the Israeli-American and the Pro-Israel American communities, including Sheldon and Miri Adelson, Haim and Cheryl Saban, Beny and Adele Alagem, Leo and Ruth David and David Wiener. In addition, the organization receives support from several Jewish-American foundations in the U.S.

About: The IAC was founded in 2007 by a group of businesspeople from the Israeli-American community in Los Angeles. It’s the largest Israeli-American organization in the country. The IAC works to create an active, influential and bi-partisan political voice for Israeli-American and pro-Israel communities to strengthen the relationship between the State of Israel and the U.S. and to preserve the Jewish way of life and Israeli culture of second and third generation Israeli-Americans. The IAC aims to achieve this through joining Israeli-American, Jewish-American and pro-Israel communities together into one united active community.