1. Where does your connection with Israel stem from, and what does it look like today?

My connection to Israel comes from my Jewish upbringing and the multiple trips to the country, including completing my undergraduate degree in Israel. Over time, I have come to appreciate the complexity of the people, Israeli culture, and its contemporary challenges. Today, my connection with Israel has taken on a more analytical perspective based on my increased exposure and knowledge of the region. Yet, my friends who live there also help make my connection to the country more personal and help me understand how actions in the region impact them, their families, and their communities.

2. What is your proudest moment or accomplishment as chair of IPF Atid DC? 

I have been incredibly proud of how we have been able to bring in a diverse set of voices and issues into discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I got involved with IPF Atid to focus on the nuance of the conflict and to broaden the perspective of the community of young professionals who support a two-state solution. Some of these issues include discussions on how resource insecurity can be a driver for conflict; the role of Palestinian civil society groups; or the importance of women in the peace process. Each of these are aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that are typically not discussed to instead focus on “bigger issues” even though they are critically important and provide avenues to strengthen cooperation between the Israeli and Palestinian populations in the absence of formal negotiations.

3. Looking to the future on this issue, what do you hope to see develop in the next ten years? What does success in our work look like?
Over the next ten years, I hope to see positive movement towards a two-state solution that ensures Israel’s Jewish and democratic nature and allows for the Palestinians to have a state of their own. One of the most challenging parts about this conflict is that it has required reconciliation and negotiation at the same time. While a two-state solution may not happen anytime soon, the groundwork should be developed now to see that goal in the future. This is where I believe IPF Atid comes in and can be successful. IPF Atid programming and material takes the time to look into various policy options, explain the implications, and educate people to shape a well-informed population that can advocate for a two-state solution not only to the Jewish community, but to others as well. 

What is the IPF Atid National Council?

IPF Atid’s National Council identifies and advances key strategic areas of interest and focus for programming, governance, and other relevant initiatives to the Atidnik community and Leadership Network. Led by our National Chair, it is made up of IPF Atid Chapter City Chairs and other additional special representatives from our community.

Zach currently works for an international compliance company supporting clients manage risk and combat fraud. He recently received his M.A. from George Washington University in Security Policy Studies with a concentration in Transnational Security. His capstone project focused on the Abraham Accords, and how the U.S., Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain could achieve their strategic objectives. His analysis on Israel and the Middle East has been published in multiple forums.

From 2012 to 2015, Zach lived and studied in Israel and received his undergraduate degree from the IDC Herzliya. Prior to his current role, he worked as a Jewish community professional supporting college students throughout the world on enhancing their Jewish experience on campus. Additionally, he has conducted research for the International Institute for Counter-terrorism and the Combating Terrorism Center on a variety of projects.