The AIFL Think Tank explores Zionism and Judaism, with an emphasis on independent and fresh thinking. Based in New York, our members come from various professional and personal backgrounds. Most are not involved with Jewish causes and bring in valuable outside perspectives.
120 Years Later: A Look at the State of Zionism and the American Jewish Community
- Accomplished Leaders: Our members are experienced professionals from various fields such as Investment Banking, Private Equity, Law, Media, Fashion, Art, Philanthropy, and Technology.
- Transportability of Knowledge: Our members apply their experience and track record of success in their respective fields to issues related to Israel and the Jewish world.
- Outside Perspectives: Most of our members are not involved with Israel or Jewish issues in their day-to-day vocations. Many of them are not Jewish. Our Think Tank is based in New York, not Israel. Our outsider perspective allows us to contribute fresh thinking to the issues at hand.
Our Advisory Committee
- Topic Experience: Our Advisory Committee includes scholars, diplomats and others who have spent decades dealing hands-on with issues related to Israel and the Jewish world. Given that its members’ backgrounds fall within the relevant industry, our Advisory Committee serves as a valuable resource that provides expert knowledge and background on the issues at hand to the Think Tank and to its broad base of constituents.
- Introductions: Our Advisors also facilitate introductions to other individuals who are experts on the topics that the Think Tank explores, and at times bring in outside speakers to address the Think Tank members.
- Position Paper Approval: The Advisory Committee has the responsibility for approving the Think Tank’s position papers for publication. The Committee is consulted and updated throughout the writing process and is provided with working drafts. While the papers represent the opinions of the authors themselves and not AIFL, the committee is tasked with making sure the papers are of the highest standards, both in terms of content and quality.
- Topic Selection: The Think Tank members met during 2011 to review various potential topics. By the Fall of 2011, three topics were selected and working teams were formed to explore them: the state of Zionism and its relationship with the Diaspora, Israel’s Soft-Power, and Legitimate Criticism of Israel vs. Israel Bashing.
- Building Blocks: For each of the three topics, the Think Tank’s intention was to issue a series of position papers that would build upon each other. Each paper would dive deeper and develop the issues at hand further.
- Basis for Discussion: The Think Tank’s papers are meant as a basis for discussion to be explored further. Once published, meetings and conference calls are held for discussion and debate. Such discussions help the authors plan and develop their next papers.
- Members’ Reach: Just like with AIFL delegations, where delegates visiting Israel become better informed and can spread their experience and knowledge to their respective communities, so is with the AIFL Think Tank. Members who engage in Israel and Jewish issues within the Think Tank become better informed and are able to share their experience and knowledge with their respective circles.