April 22, 2024 Your Source for Brentwood News

Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren Headlines Stand with Israel Luncheon

Distinguished Statesman Shares Insights on Israel’s Future 

In Brentwood, one of Israel’s most distinguished statesmen, Ambassador Michael Oren, a diplomat who worked at the highest levels of the Israeli government, was the featured speaker at Jewish National Fund-USA’s 12th annual Stand with Israel Legacy Luncheon in Brentwood on February 23.

The Positively Israel event for local partners (donors) was attended by nearly 200 philanthropists joining in celebration of the past, present, and future of Israel. The solidarity portions of the afternoon included a moment of silence to remember the hostages, the fallen,

and the families and for peace in Israel.

During his tenure as Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Oren worked with the White House, Congress, and the CIA on crucial strategic issues, including the Iron Dome defense system and the Iran nuclear threat. Drawing on more than forty years of experience in governance, the military, and foreign service, and with the perspective of a historian who has lived throughout Israel and abroad, the New York Times bestselling author discussed his latest book, 2048 The Rejuvenated State, the Israel-Hamas War; and the threat of an even bigger enemy across the northern border in Lebanon.

“October 7 was more than just an outrageously barbaric attack by heinous terrorists…It was the breakdown of a covenant,” said Oren. “Every Israeli knows that this is a war not just for our security, not just to let those people come back to their homes, not just to send a message to the region…We know that this is a battle for our national survival.”

Representatives from Jewish National Fund-USA recounted how, since the morning of the “Black Shabbat,” the organization’s team in Israel immediately mobilized to support the devastated communities — evacuating, feeding, clothing, and providing other supplies and trauma therapy to tens of thousands of evacuees and working tirelessly to coordinate, serve, and help those in need — transforming the black, burnt, and broken into love, light, healing, and hope.

“The shock we all felt as we learned about October 7 and the atrocities that took place that day continue on with respect to the war and the hostage situation,” said Jewish National Fund-USA’s Director of Planned Giving, West Coast, Cynthia Hizami, Esquire. 

“We also watched as the world judged…not Hamas and their incomprehensible inhumanity and pure evil…but instead Jews and Israel. However, something else has happened. Through our shock, pain, and sorrow, through a world tinted with rising antisemitism and Jew-hatred, Jews worldwide have united in a show of compassion and endurance. Our bond with Israel is stronger today than ever before.”

The organization’s leaders also shared how, through an unprecedented level of charitable giving, Jewish National Fund-USA has raised nearly $60 million in immediate relief funds. They also unveiled the organization’s bold and visionary plans to rebuild the southern Israeli

communities that were ravaged by Hamas and implementing plans for a bright and prosperous future.

“Work has already begun on a plan called Livnot B’Yachad—Build Together,” added Hizami. “This bold initiative will create a bright new future for the people of Israel and communities devastated by terror. The initiative includes building new houses, applying fresh coats of paint, beautiful parks, repaved roads, and strategic community infrastructure. We will rebuild the Israel Envelope to a new level of glory.”

Hizami also shared the many ways supporters of Israel can achieve their philanthropic goals while taking advantage of existing U.S. tax laws, including Charitable Gift Annuities, where individuals can receive a fixed income as high as 10.1%. She also discussed savvy ways. People are utilizing donor-advised funds, IRAs, and traditional bequests.

“At no time in our history has Jewish National Fund-USA’s work been more important,” added Fred Toczek and Susie Satzman Toczek, co-presidents of Jewish National Fund-USA in Greater Los Angeles. “The enduring strength and perseverance of Israel has always been important to us and our family. Our partnership with Jewish National Fund-USA allows us to continue to support our homeland well into the future.” To learn more about the many meaningful ways you can leave a legacy for Israel, call 800.562.7526 or email plannedgiving@jnf.org.

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