(JTA) — The Israeli-American Council has announced a nationwide expansion plan to unite Israeli-Americans residing in the United States.
The organization estimates that nearly 800,000 Israeli expatriates live throughout the U.S., but they are not currently connected by a national cultural organization.
The organization was founded in Los Angeles in 2007 by a group of L.A.-based Israeli businessmen, originally intended to serve the Israeli-American population of Southern California. Now, in light of what the organization sees as a pressing need to unite Israeli Americans and prevent the erosion of their Israeli and Jewish identities, it is seeking to create community programming across the nation.
“It is important to realize that many Israelis are not used to living in the Diaspora and as a result, are disconnected from the Jewish-American community and its institutions. Many of their kids assimilate at an astounding rate,” said Adam Milstein, chairman of the Israeli-American Council ’s Expansion Committee.
The group’s expansion plan includes opening a national headquarters and local chapters across the country. These chapters will engage in cultural, educational, advocacy and social activities across age groups. The Israeli-American Council plans to offer grants, collaborate with other Jewish organizations, and create pro-Israel and Jewish initiatives in cities throughout the United States.