Bezawit Abebe, an SJD doctoral candidate at Golden Gate University in San Francisco and a research fellow at Be’chol Lashon advocating for diversity within the Jewish community; David May, a research analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies specializing in economic warfare; and Liora Berkstein, the Southern California High School Regional Manager at StandWithUs, are among the 25 members of the 2022 cohort of Charles Bronfman IPF Atid Conveners. Over the coming year, this group of young professional leaders will receive training and engage with experts on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to prepare them to facilitate nuanced  dialogue on Israel in their communities and help them become more confident champions of a viable two-state solution. 

As with previous cohorts, this year’s Conveners will meet with current and former senior government officials and top policy analysts from the U.S. and the region, as well as American Jewish community leaders. This cohort will also participate in professional and leadership development workshops. This year’s summit will take place in Washington D.C. from November 12 to 15, 2022. 

Upon completion of the program’s signature summit, Conveners will develop their own projects. Through these initiatives, Conveners will leverage what they have learned to promote Israel Policy Forum’s mission and build support for two states in their communities.

“A few years ago, Israel Policy Forum honored me by creating this program for bright young leaders who have a real desire to improve their knowledge of Israel and the Middle East,” said Charles R. Bronfman, an Israel Policy Forum Board member. “I am proud of the work that IPF Atid has accomplished through this program. I commend this new cohort of next-generation leaders for their commitment to advancing a two-state solution for the safety and security of Israel and the Jewish people.”

This year’s Charles Bronfman Conveners were selected via a rigorous application process and are a diverse group of entrepreneurs, lawyers, writers, Jewish communal leaders, and policy professionals. Many have professional affiliations with major North American Jewish community and policy institutions, including ADL, the Brookings Institution, Eurasia Group, JUF Jewish Federation of Chicago, Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, and JCRC’s in Hartford, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. Brief bios of all the Conveners are below.

“This year’s Conveners program comes at a critical moment in our work,” noted Sharon Hakakian Bergman, a 2019 Convener. “New leadership in Washington and Jerusalem comes with new opportunities to enact policies on the ground that foster an environment that is more conducive to a two-solution. In an era of increasingly polarized discourse on Israel, the need for nuanced, policy-based conversations on the conflict in North American Jewish spaces has never been greater. The Charles Bronfman Conveners program serves as a primary vehicle by which IPF Atid promotes engagement with our issue in the wider community, while elevating emerging leaders.”

Now entering its fifth year, the IPF Atid Charles Bronfman Conveners program empowers emerging Jewish community and policy leaders by equipping them with the resources to advance Israel Policy Forum’s vision of a Jewish, democratic, and secure Israel. IPF Atid, the young professionals network of Israel Policy Forum, has chapters in New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Boston.