As the year comes to a close, we are reflecting on Israel Policy Forum’s top 10 moments from 2017. All of our work has sought to educate decision-makers and community leaders, and to shape a more productive discourse in policymaking and American Jewish circles. The year ahead will be incredibly challenging and consequential for our mission — yet we are poised to strengthen the impact of our work in order to meet the tests that lie ahead.

We want to thank you for your participation, feedback, and support in the past year, as well as in the year to come. On behalf of all of us at Israel Policy Forum, we wish you and your families a wonderful 2018.

10. Timely Conference Call Briefings

Nearly 1,000 individual listeners have joined our calls in the past year.  Jewish professionals from across the political spectrum, members of the media, policymakers, and our network of supporters have engaged in timely conversations with leading experts, including Ambassador Dan Shapiro, Dr. Khalil Shikaki, Amir Tibon and Grant Rumley, MK Isaac Herzog, Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Avi Mizrachi and Celine Taboul, and more.

9. Advancing Two-State Security

In February, Israel Policy Forum launched Advancing Two-State Security, a blueprint for pragmatic steps that can be taken to enhance security and preserve the goal of two states, endorsed by our partners, Commanders for Israel’s Security, consisting of over 270 retired generals from the IDF, Shin Bet, Mossad and National Police.  You can download the briefing book or watch the discussion about these policy proposals with Brig. Gen. (Ret). Dov “Fufi Sedaka, Nimrod Novik, and Sarah Yerkes.

Advancing Two-State Security in New York, February 2017

8. Delegations to Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan

Israel Policy Forum led two delegations in 2017.  We visited Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Amman in the days immediately following President Trump’s inauguration, and we toured the West Bank and Gaza surroundings this past fall.  Our engagement with local and national government officials, analysts, and activists helps to sharpen our understanding of the dynamics on the ground. Click ahead to see pictures from our January and October trips.

An Israel Policy Forum delegation in Hebron, October 2017

7. Nuanced Commentary and Analysis

Our weekly Koplow Column continues to receive praise from across the communal and policy spectrums.  Our daily Matzav has featured contributions from dozens of young up-and-coming writers, and our new Matzav Podcast has featured in-depth interviews with analysts like Hussein Ibish, Alon Pinkas, Ghaith al-Omari, and many more.

6. Inaugural Joseph Forum

Our Joseph Forum, named in honor of our Chair Emeritus Peter Joseph, aims to provoke a challenging dialogue.  The 2017 Joseph Forum featured Tamara Cofman Wittes of the Brookings Institution, Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Michael Herzog, a security expert who has participated in every round of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and Jibril Rajoub, who is among the contenders for the future presidency of the Palestinian Authority, sparking a challenging and controversial debate. Click here to watch the Joseph Forum.

Inaugural Joseph Forum, April 2017

5. Washington Activity

In 2017, Israel Policy Forum briefed dozens of members of Congress on Israeli security issues, including the ideas contained in Advancing Two-State Security, and facilitated a number of private discussions with our leadership, Israeli generals, and policymakers in the Administration and in Congress on a variety of issues — from detailed analysis on potential peace proposals to the specific terms of the Taylor Force Act.  Policy Director Michael Koplow provided thoughtful, nuanced testimony to Congress on the implications of moving the US embassy to Jerusalem. Click here to watch Michael Koplow’s testimony.

Policy Director Michael Koplow speaks at a Congressional hearing, October 2017

4. The Next 50 Years Video Series

Reflecting on the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, Israel Policy Forum launched The Next 50 Years, a six-day video series featuring exclusive video testimonials from:

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak
Former Mossad Director Danny Yatom
Former Shin Bet Director Ami Ayalon
Former Commissioner of the Israel Police Assaf Hefetz
Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Ami Morag, Chair of YAHAD, The Organization of Israeli Lone Soldiers
Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Giora Inbar

3. Honoring Charles Bronfman

On November 30th, Israel Policy Forum honored Charles Bronfman, the chair of our Advisory Council.  Ethan Bronner moderated a fascinating dialogue between Charles and former Prime Minister Ehud Barak during a special evening of tributes. Click here to watch the discussion between Charles and Ehud Barak.

Honoring Charles Bronfman, November 2017

2. Inaugural Middle East Security Forums

In October, Israel Policy Forum held programs in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Chicago featuring over 30 experts speakers from across the political spectrum, engaging over 2,000 participants, and convened in partnership with over 40 national and local organizations and synagogues.  In New York and Los Angeles, Israel Policy Forum convened the first-ever dialogues with a member of the Saudi royal family in an American synagogue. Click here to watch the sessions from the New York Middle East Security Forum.

1. The Launch of IPF Atid

This past summer, Israel Policy Forum launched IPF Atid, our new initiative designed to engage young professionals.  Already, there are hundreds of “Atidniks” nationwide, with active chapters engaging in ongoing discussions online and in-person each month in New York, Chicago, Washington, and Los Angeles.  The program is poised to continue its rapid growth in 2018. Click here to learn more about IPF Atid. You can also join our IPF Atid online community by clicking here.