A Message from Our New CEO

Dear Friends of Brit Tzedek,

I am delighted to begin my term in the newly created position of CEO of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom. This promises to be an exciting challenge and I look forward to working with all of you.

I am serving Brit Tzedek in this capacity after having been a very active volunteer. I have served as National Vice President, as well as Chair and Co-Chair of the National Advocacy Committee. Through my experience in the women's movement and other causes, I have led and contributed to a variety of major advocacy projects, including grassroots organizing, electoral organizing, and public policy initiatives. I am also proud of my lifelong involvement in the Jewish community. I join a wonderful team of organizers, strategists, Jewish leaders, and other active members of Brit Tzedek, all of whom are committed to moving our organization to the next stages of its development.

The job of CEO was created because we need to have someone take primary staff responsibility for the overall development and vision of our organization — someone who will publicly represent Brit Tzedek v'Shalom in communicating and meeting with the media, elected officials, Jewish community leaders, and leaders of other organizations. I am very much looking forward to working in partnership with Marcia Freedman, President of the Board of Directors, and Aliza Becker, our Executive Director, and with all of our dedicated activists.

I step into this job at a critical time for Brit Tzedek. We have quickly become the largest and fastest growing grassroots Jewish peace organization in the United States. Now we have to continue to expand and demonstrate our effectiveness.    

This is also a critical time in Israel. If disengagement from Gaza goes well — and that is so important — the stage will be set for further moves toward a two-state resolution of the conflict. After the Gaza disengagement, Israelis and Palestinians will still face very difficult challenges. We American Jews, along with our friends, need to organize and pressure Congress and the Administration to take dramatic action and help bring the two sides together.

We have recently taken some promising steps forward. At the end of May, local chapter activists met with congressional representatives and staff members in their home districts. This past week in Washington D.C., approximately 60 Brit Tzedek activists convened for our National Advocacy Days campaign. After several stimulating presentations by a distinguished roster of policy makers, we met with senators, House representatives, congressional staff members, and representatives of the Bush Administration to deliver our message. It was an impressive two days, and now we are much closer to being a respected force on Capitol Hill. In the next few years, I hope that thousands of us will be going to Washington on a regular basis to build on the success of this year's campaign. 

The growth and effectiveness of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom is no small matter. We need to build an enduring and powerful organization made up of thousands of people who care deeply about Israel, its Palestinian neighbors, peace, and justice. I hope that I can count on all of you.


B'shalom,
Diane Balser

Read more about Diane Balser
 

Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, The Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
11 E. Adams Street, Suite 707
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: (312) 341-1205
Fax: (312) 341-1206
info@btvshalom.org
www.btvshalom.org


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