Adam Basciano, 28, Building Young Support for Two-State Solution



The Jewish Week’s annual 36 Under 36 honors young leaders, entrepreneurs and change-makers who are making a difference in the life of Jewish New York. For the full list of this year’s “36ers,” click here.

What do you do?

As the co-founder and national director of IPF Atid, I help young people in North America develop their leadership and engagement in the Israeli-Palestinian future. By advancing greater understanding, discussion, and policies that drive towards a two-state vision, our professional and volunteer teams have built an expansive and inclusive community of passionate millennials and young professionals coming from across (and beyond) the Jewish community.  Since our launching of IPF Atid four years ago at Israel Policy Forum, we have empowered hundreds of new voices to be leaders in this conversation through trainings such as the Charles Bronfman Conveners program and meetings with former prime ministers and other top figures. I also co-authored a chapter for a forthcoming journal collection with my colleague Shanie Reichman analyzing former President Trump’s impacts on young American Jewry.

How did the pandemic impact your work?

At IPF Atid, we used the challenges and opportunities of the pandemic to reflect on what worked particularly well in our first chapter and to begin strategically scaling the program and community for the decade to come. We harnessed the unique digital and political moments to convene more meetings with Israeli and Palestinian counterparts, host inclusive dialogues around our community’s most difficult conversations, and to mobilize young American Zionists in opposing last summer’s West Bank annexation efforts through op-ed writing and salon hosting. While the details and logistics may have changed with the shift to Zoom, the core ethos of our work has stayed the same: building leadership for the long-term causes of peace and security.

How does your Jewish identity influence your work?

My grandfather, who grew up in the Brooklyn Jewish community in the ‘40s and ‘50s, taught me the values of going the extra mile, always giving the personal touch, and never forgetting a sense of humor — all of which are always helpful in the workplace. Growing up in a welcoming interfaith family has also taught me to embrace life’s dualities, especially in overcoming complex challenges and seemingly contradictory ideas (like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict).

Do you have a favorite inspiring quote?

“From small things, big things one day come.” (Bruce Springsteen)

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