|Legal status||501(c)(3) nonprofit organization|
|Headquarters||Los Angeles, California|
|Boston, Florida, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Jersey, New York, Washington, D.C., Seattle|
The Israeli-American Council (IAC; Hebrew: ארגון הקהילה הישראלית-אמריקאית) is an American nonprofit umbrella organization whose mission is "to build an engaged and united Israeli-American community that strengthens our next generations, the American Jewish community and the State of Israel."
The Israeli-American Council (IAC), originally known as the Israeli Leadership Council (ILC), was founded in Los Angeles in 2007 to organize and engage the Israeli-American community. A group of Israeli-American community leaders joined together to form its first Board of Directors. The organization's rapid growth established the ILC as the largest Israeli-American organization in the U.S. In 2013, the organization changed its name to the Israeli-American Council (IAC). In 2014, the IAC held the first Israeli-American Community National Conference 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.
- "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."
In the summer of 2006 during the Second Lebanon War, the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles organized a pro-Israel rally. While community and public officials, as well as hundreds of community members attended the rally, only a handful Israeli-Americans participated. The organizers were disappointed to see the low participation from the more than 200,000 Israeli-Americans residing in the area, particularly since Israeli-Americans were closely following the events in Israel and leading initiatives of support. As a community, they were not organized nor affiliated with any institution that was able to unite and lead them.
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. Alpert set up a preliminary meeting with active community members Adam Milstein, Eli Tene, Steve Erdman, Naty Saidoff, Eli Marmour and Shoham Nicolet, and they founded the Israeli Leadership Council (ILC). 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. Shoham Nicolet served as the Founding Executive Director.
"Live for Sderot" was the ILC's first major initiative, benefiting the southern Israeli town under regular rocket attack. 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.
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 Wilshire Federal Building. Since then, the organization has been utilizing Tzav 8 whenever major crises take place in Israel. In 2009, the ILC held its First Annual Gala Dinner. Hundreds of Israeli-Americans came together for the first time for a major fundraiser with the goal to build their own united community.
In the following two years, the ILC started to support grassroots organizations. One of the first organizations was the Tzofim, the Israeli Scouts, which doubled its size with the help of the organization. Today the organization is a major supporter of more than 50 other non-profit organizations throughout the U.S. The ILC also developed new programs. In 2010 the ILC founded BINA, an Israeli and Jewish American young professional community, and in 2011, the ILC introduced its first national program, Sifriyat Pijama B'America (SP-BA), a Hebrew literacy program for children ages 2–8, which delivers free Hebrew children's books to thousands of Israeli-American families.
In September 2011, the ILC recruited its first full-time CEO, Sagi Balasha. In November 2011, the volunteer initiative ILC Care was launched with a concert attended by 6,000 people at Universal Studios, Hollywood. In April 2012, it initiated the Celebrate Israel Festival, a festival celebrating Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) attended by more than 15,000 people in Los Angeles.
In May 2012, Shawn Evenhaim was elected as the new Chairman of the Board . 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.
In October 2014, Adam Milstein became the National Chairman of the IAC, and Shoham Nicolet returned as the organization's CEO.
In 2013, the organization renamed itself the Israeli-American Council (IAC). 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. By 2015, the council had established seven regional offices 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.
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 political leaders from both the U.S. and Israel, as well as voices from the Israeli-American business and philanthropic communities.
- Adam Milstein (Chairman of the National Board)
- Shoham Nicolet – Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
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, it offers cultural, educational, leadership, advocacy, and family programming in both Hebrew and English for all age groups.
- Celebrate Israel: A festival to celebrate Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day). The inaugural festival in 2012 in Los Angeles drew 15,000 people. In 2015 there were five Celebrate Israel festivals throughout the country drawing over 40,000 participants.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. The camp expanded to the East Coast in 2015.
- 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.
- Taglit Birthright, IAC Shelanu: A special Hebrew Track Birthright Israel Program designed specifically for Israeli-Americans and other Hebrew speaking young adults.
- IAC Keshet: A Hebrew after school immersion and dual language program for Hebrew speaking and non-Hebrew speaking children. KesheTOT is the sister program to IAC Keshet that is tailored for toddlers.
- 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.
- 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.
Israeli-American National Conference
- "About the IAC". Israeli American Council.
- "The history of the IAC". Israeli American Council.
- "יורדים להתקפה" (PDF). Yedioth Ahronoth (in Hebrew). May 15, 2009.
- "TIMELINE: A history of the Israeli-American Council". The Jewish Journal. May 18, 2015.
- "The Israeli-Americans: Who they are, what they want, where they're headed, why they matter". The Jewish Journal. May 14, 2015.
- "ספריית פיג'מה מתרחבת". Yedioth Ahronoth (in Hebrew). July 2, 2013.
- "Sagi Balasha: the new head of the Israeli Leadership Council". The Jewish Journal. April 15, 2012.
- "רשת הנתינה" [The Giving Network]. The Jewish Journal (in Hebrew). November 14, 2011.
- "Sold-out concert garners 24,000 Hours of community service pledges". The Jewish Journal. November 22, 2011.
- "מקהלה של 6,000 איש". Yedioth Ahronoth (in Hebrew). November 30, 2012.
- "Guess who's bringing the Israel Festival back?". The Jewish Journal. April 25, 2012.
- "בקרוב נפגשים בפארק". Yedioth Ahronoth (in Hebrew). March 1, 2012.
- "עצמאות בפארק". Yedioth Ahronoth (in Hebrew). May 4, 2012.
- "'הכל בגלל שאיכפת לי, אני נהנה לתת'" (in Hebrew). Israeli Life USA. October 25, 2012.
- "אנחנו לא רק ישראלים ולא רק אמריקאים. אנחנו ישראלים-אמריקאים" (PDF). Shavua Israeli (in Hebrew). September 2013.
- "Israeli Leadership Council changes name". The Jewish Journal. March 13, 2013.
- "קהילה בפעולה: 2 מיליון דולר גוייסו בערב הגאלה של הקהילה הישראלית בלוס אנג'לס". Shavua Israeli (in Hebrew). March 17, 2013.
- "לראשונה בארה"ב: הקהילה הישראלית-אמריקאית מתארגנת מחוף-אל-חוף" (in Hebrew). Israeli Life USA. September 15, 2013.
- "ארגון הקהילה הישראלית-אמריקאית (IAC) מתרחב". Yedioth Ahronoth (in Hebrew). September 15, 2013.
- "IAC to support Israeli expat community initiatives across US". The Jerusalem Post. September 12, 2013.
- "Israeli-American Council aims to unite Israeli community in U.S.". JTA. September 12, 2013.
- "Sheldon Adelson puts money behind nationwide expansion of Israeli American Council". The Jewish Journal. September 10, 2013.
- "Israeli Americans, Newly Confident". The Jewish Week. November 4, 2014.
- "לקראת תשע"ה: אמריקה בידינו / דו"ח ארגון הקהילה הישראלית-אמריקאית". Shavua Israeli (in Hebrew). September 23, 2014.
- "ארגון IAC מטביע חותם". Yedioth Ahronoth (in Hebrew). November 4, 2014.
- "The IAC's growth spurt". TRIBE. April 29, 2014.
- "ישראלים בארצות הברית ראש השנה תשע"ה: היסטוריה בפעולה" (in Hebrew). Israeli Life USA. September 20, 2014.
- "Living in America, but proud to be an Israeli". Haaretz. November 10, 2014.
- "Israeli-American Council jumps onto national stage with a splash". The Jewish Journal. November 11, 2014.
- "At inaugural conference of Israeli-American group, a sense of tentativeness". JTA. November 11, 2014.
- "Billionaires Adelson and Saban, at odds in campaigns, unite on Israel and hit Obama". The Washington Post. November 9, 2014.
- "ישראלים-אמריקאים בוושינגטון" (in Hebrew). November 14, 2014.
- "Israeli-American organization extending to Florida". Sun Sentinel. February 10, 2014.
- "Israeli American Council expands to Vegas". The Jerusalem Post. April 4, 2014.
- "Regional Offices". Israeli American Council.
- "N.J. branch of Israeli-American Council opens Paramus headquarters". The Jewish Standard. January 2, 2015.
- "Israeli American Council to open New York regional office". The Jerusalem Post. May 19, 2014.
- "Israeli-American Council Opens Boston Office". The Jewish Journal Massachusetts. March 27, 2014.
- "IAC goes to Washington ... and plans to stay". The Jewish Journal. March 4, 2015.
- "IAC National Programs". Israeli American Council.
- "Celebrate Israel Fest brings Jewish homeland to its people". The Jewish Journal. May 14, 2014.
- "Israelis celebrating Independence Day — in California". The Jerusalem Post. April 23, 2015.
- "Israeli American Council Announces Major U.S. Expansion Plan". eJewish Philanthropy. September 11, 2013.
- "Dor Chadash becoming part of Israeli-American Council". JTA. February 14, 2014.
- "My Family Story to Expand in U.S.". The Forward. November 21, 2014.
- "לראשונה בארה"ב: מחנה קיץ מסובסד לילדים ישראלים-אמריקנים" (in Hebrew). Israeli Life USA. April 9, 2014.
- "Creating campus Maccabees". The Jerusalem Post. February 2, 2015.
- "New Birthright program is courting U.S. Hebrew speakers". JTA. August 28, 2014.
- "Founding little Israel in Brooklyn". Haaretz. August 10, 2013.
- "Israelis import sabra kiddie culture to New York". The Times of Israel. August 31, 2014.
- "In U.S., Israelis Claim A Foothold". The Jewish Week. May 27, 2015.