In February 2014, IAC Dor Chadash is entering a new and exciting chapter in its history as it becomes an official program of the Israeli American Council (IAC). The IAC’s innovative programming throughout the US builds an active and giving Israeli-American community to strengthen the State of Israel, the next generation, and provide a bridge to the Jewish American community.

Through this partnership, IAC Dor Chadash will have the opportunity to expand, producing more original programming and events and even reaching out beyond the New York City area. Jspace recently sat down with Dov Hoschander, a member of the IAC Dor Chadash Steering Committee, to learn more about the organization and its transformation over the years.

Why and how was your organization founded?

IAC Dor Chadash was founded in 2003 in order to serve the young professional Israeli and Jewish community living in New York City. Our goal was to establish a network of like-minded individuals, united by their faith and ideals, and provide meaningful and fun experiences for them to interact, learn, and enjoy.

Whether its through cultural, educational, or social events, IAC Dor Chadash serves an otherwise forgotten network of vibrant post collegiate Jews. They are mostly single, come from across the United States, and from Israel, and are working and living in the biggest city in North America.

How has it evolved over time?

For over 10 years, the organization has grown from a few events, catering to a dozen or so people, to a network of over 15,000 young professionals, ages 25 to 45.

The success of IAC Dor Chadash has been in large part due to its network of volunteers. Our Steering Committee is a group of dynamic and bright individuals (not to mention rather good looking and talented) and it includes members from a variety of fields, working in law, real estate, medicine, media, fashion, technology, non-profit and government. They take the time out of their busy lives to plan and execute each program, from beginning to end.

In February 2014, IAC Dor Chadash now enters a new and exciting chapter in its history as it becomes an official program of the Israeli-America Council (IAC). Through this partnership, IAC Dor Chadash will have the opportunity to expand, producing more original programming and events and even reaching out beyond New York City area. Many other exciting changes are on the horizon and we cant wait to share each opportunity with our friends and social networks.

What is the main focus today?

Surprisingly, the focus of IAC Dor Chadash still remains close to its original vision. We encourage young professionals to feel empowered and create meaningful connections with each other, and with the State of Israel. Israel is the birthplace and homeland of the Jewish people. Our members are all united in our support of the State of Israel, and most of our events celebrate this deep connection.

At our Tech event, called “Power to the User” guests were able to learn about Israeli apps, a cutting edge new field. Israeli movie screenings, a Tel-Aviv Beach party, and a party for Tu-Bishvat, allowed Israelis living abroad to experience a small taste of home and partake in Jewish tradition. Our recent Chanukah party with a theme of “Gelty Pleasures” had a packed house at a hip NYC nightclub. Guests were encouraged to wear gold, pose with a giant ice menorah, and indulge in golden chocolates and sweets. Now in the works are plans for Purim, a scavenger hunt, and of course, our yearly Yom Ha’atzmaut extravaganza, which promises to be the biggest and best yet.

How does this work line up with Jewish values?

IAC Dor Chadash remains committed to Jewish values, and unlike many other organizations, there is no separation by level of observance. In fact, it our members diversity that make each event so special. Our members make lasting and meaningful connections with individuals that they may never had have the opportunity to otherwise meet. Events are never on shabbat and always have Kosher food options. We strongly believe that everyone should always feel welcome to participate.

We hope that through IAC Dor Chadash, participants will develop friendships and bonds within the Jewish community that will last a lifetime. Whether we are raising money for disadvantaged children in Israel, showcasing an Israeli musician or comedian, or simply celebrating the latest holiday on the Jewish calendar, IAC Dor Chadash makes it cool to be Jewish in New York City.

.ORG Connection: IAC Dor Chadash has been promoted and supported by many high profile individuals and organizations in the Jewish/Israeli world. Volunteer speakers included: Elie Wiesel, MP Ami Ayalon, Ambassador Arye Mekel, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, A. B. Yehoshua, Ehud Ya’ari, Ambassador Danny Gillerman, Ambassador Danny Ayalon, Chemi Peres, Dan Senor, Yossi Vardi, Alan Dersowhitz, Avrum Burg, Former Supreme Court Justice Ezra Rivlin, Former Chief of Staff Boogie Ya’alon, CEO of TLV Stock Exchange Ester Levanon, Actress Gila Almagor, Actress Mili Avital, CEO of Arson Investments Efrat Peled, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, etc.