Every year,  I look forward to the High Holidays. The sound of the Shofar wakes us up from the slumber of our everyday routines and calls us to action: repentance, prayer, justice.

As we begin this new year, we also look to new possibilities. With Israel forging normalized relations with countries of the Arab world, we must rededicate ourselves to ensure that this moment of new beginnings and possibilities extends toward a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

To that end, I am incredibly proud of the work of Israel Policy Forum.

I am now 26, beginning my journey as a professional and as a leader in the Jewish community. The vision of a secure, Jewish, and democratic Israel has always been a driving force in my life, but it was only through IPF Atid, Israel Policy Forum’s young professional network, that I have been able to act: mobilizing, engaging, and leading.

As the new national chair of IPF Atid, and as a newly elected board member of Israel Policy Forum, I spend hours each week collaborating with peers and staff on how to engage, educate, and mobilize my generation to stand up for Israel’s future. We are being challenged from the left and the right with narratives that question the future viability of a secure, Jewish, and democratic Israel, and we are responding by embracing the difficult questions and working to provide a roadmap for more informed and constructive community discussions and policymaking in Washington.

I’m especially proud of our work to educate community leaders and policymakers on the dangers of West Bank annexation. IPF Atid amplified this message, mobilizing thousands of young professionals through the Our Future Israel campaign. While we successfully made the case that annexation would be disastrous, and the proposal for now is on hold, we remain vigilant in support of a vision of a sustainable two-state outcome, prepared to oppose all efforts that would undermine it.

In the coming year, I urge you to turn to Israel Policy Forum and IPF Atid as a resource and to join us in the critical work that lies ahead.

On Rosh Hashanah, the Shofar reminds us of the fragility of life and the need to make every year, minute, hour, second count. Indeed, this is a time of uncertainty and disruption unlike any other in recent memory. This year, may we make every moment count in our efforts to build a stronger community, and stronger country, and a stronger, more peaceful and secure Israel for generations to come.

Shana Tova – For a happy, sweet, healthy, and peaceful New Year.

Jonathan Kamel
IPF Atid National Chair
Israel Policy Forum Board Member