Never in NY has the Israeli community been represented by a single body until this past year.
The Moatza Mekomit was formed by a group of Israeli community leaders who felt that the community could benefit from coming together under one body. Jspace got the chance to recently sit down with Inbar Singal, VP of Moatza, to learn how the community was formed and what their plans are as an organization, and how they plan to change the landscape of the NY Israeli community.
Why and how was your organization founded?
Moatza Mekomit NY was founded as the umbrella organization of the Israeli community in the NY area. The initiative started when Oren Heiman and Aya Shechter (now our chairman and vice chairman) attended a JAFI conference of Israeli leadership in North America on March 2012. During that conference they realized that all the big Israeli-American communities had a representing organization. All besides the largest Israeli community outside of Israel – the one in NY.
There are many organizations active in the Israeli community in the NY area. Each of them focuses on a specific area or geographic community. However, there is no umbrella organization, which can represent the whole community and connect all the different organizations.
Moatza Mekomit was founded in 2013 by a small group of Israeli leaders, who are active in different organizations. JAFI and the NY Federation are partners to this initiative from the beginning. The founding group wanted to understand the needs of the community and invited 150 leaders to a discussion about the community and its needs. The Moatza was then created according to the outcomes of this discussion.
What is the main focus today?
The main focus of Moatza is to address the needs of the community, by creating partnerships with other organizations, connecting between organizations and communities and being the address for Israelis in NY area. We provide information, guidance and networking to the community and represent it to other communities, different organizations, Israel’s authorities etc.
How does this work line up with Jewish values?
Moatza Mekomit’s activity is in line with a few important Jewish values. Everything we do is in the name of creating solidarity and promoting the value of Kol Israel Arevim Ze La Ze . We create opportunities for community members to meet, we encourage and help communities to take action for themselves and work for their community members, we try to bridge between the Israeli community and other communities, especially the Jewish American community. We believe that a strong community makes the individual stronger. Our board represents the different voices, opinions and demographics one can find in the Israeli community, in respect to people’s differences.
.ORG Connection: Moatza Mekomit is a nonprofit led by 77 Israeli community leaders, representing the 150,000 Israelis living in the New York area.