June 15, 2024
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America’s Voices in Israel Taps David Schizer as New President

New York—Recognizing the importance of educating influential Americans about Israel, America’s Voices in Israel (AVI) has appointed David Schizer, the Dean Emeritus of Columbia Law School, as its new president.

AVI organizes week-long missions to the Jewish state, which have been attended by a phalanx of prominent headline-makers, including leading journalists, prime-time media and Hollywood TV stars, as well as religious and political leaders in the Latino and African-American communities. Participants have described these missions as “fascinating” and even “life-changing,” while the Israeli government has also recognized the value of these trips.

“We are delighted that David Schizer will be assuming the presidency of America’s Voices in Israel, joining Chairman George Rohr. That so accomplished and distinguished a leader as Professor Schizer has assumed this responsibility reflects the tremendous achievements of America’s Voices and the recognition of its growth in recent years,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. “Together with director Irwin Katsof, Messrs. Schizer and Rohr will take America’s Voices to new heights as they continue to break through barriers and establish ties to previously inaccessible segments of the American public and opinion leaders. We are grateful to David for undertaking this important post, and look forward to America’s Voices accomplishments that are so essential at this time.” America’s Voices in Israel was founded by Mr. Hoenlein.

Irwin Katsof, the Director of AVI added, “It is such an honor to work with David. He is such a fine human being who cares deeply about Israel and the Jewish people. We are fortunate to have such a remarkable and accomplished individual as our new president.”

“America’s Voices in Israel has played an important role in bringing leading journalists and celebrities to Israel for many years. I congratulate David, who is also the Co-Founder and Co-Director of Columbia Law School’s Center for Israeli Legal Studies, for taking over as President of America’s Voices in Israel. I am sure that his vision and dedication to Israel will help America’s Voices in Israel continue its great work,” said Ron Dermer, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States.

Danny Danon, Israel’s UN envoy remarked, “It is so encouraging for me to see such an outstanding leader as Professor Schizer assume the role of President of America’s Voices in Israel. America’s Voices is a leader in educating Americans about Israel and has brought so many important and impactful groups to Israel.”

The appointment of Professor Schizer as President of AVI coincides with the organization’s expanding efforts to bring more prominent Americans to Israel during the course of 2016, with a minimum of 10 planned missions. Several missions are scheduled to highlight Latino media stars, Hollywood headliners (including cast members from one of the most talked about prime-time TV series of 2015), as well as coaches and professional athletes.

These meticulously planned missions, which showcase the vibrancy and dynamism of Israeli society, are what attracted Professor Schizer to take the helm at AVI.

“America’s Voices in Israel plays a vital role in educating prominent Americans about Israel,” Professor Schizer said. “Once they visit this remarkable country, they develop a more informed and sophisticated understanding of the extraordinary promise, as well as the complex challenges, that define life in Israel today. AVI provides new visitors with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I am honored to be involved.”

During the course of AVI’s week-long treks, visitors meet with a wide variety of politicians and academics. They offer a broad range of perspectives, since these missions are non-partisan. Mission participants also visit cultural, religious and historical sites, jeeping and sampling award-winning wines in the Golan Heights, visiting soup kitchens and posh restaurants in Jerusalem and enjoying Tel Aviv’s alluring nightlife.

Professor Schizer already is involved in bringing academics and legal experts to Israel several times a year for conferences organized by Columbia Law School’s Center for Israeli Legal Studies. “For many American academics, these conferences are their first encounter with colleagues in Israel who work in their fields, and also with Israeli society in general,” he said. “The experience is intellectually engaging, fun and memorable.”

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