Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro and Ms. Julie Fisher: Bruchim Habaim (welcome!)

We were privileged to have as our guests this past Shabbat the mishpacha (family) of Ambassador Daniel Shapiro, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel, and Ms. Julie Fisher.  Their daughter Liat was a chanicha (camper) for six years, and currently serves on Tzevet (staff) as a madricha (counselor) in Bogrim.  Their 2 daughters will be with us second session as chanichot — Shira in Solelim and Merav in Magshimim.  And to top it all off, we were delighted that Dan’s parents, Elizabeth and Michael, were here for the weekend as well. Pictured above are, left to right: Shira, Julie, Dan, Michael and Elizabeth. Pictured below, left to right: Dan, Shira and Elizabeth.

Daniel Shapiro joined the Institute for National Security Studies in March 2017 as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow.  Before joining INSS, Mr. Shapiro served as United States ambassador to Israel (July 2011-January 2017). In that role, he participated in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, U.S.-Israel discussions on the Iran nuclear agreement, and negotiations on the $38 billion Memorandum of Understanding for U.S. military assistance to Israel. Prior to that he was Senior Director for the Middle East and North Africa at the National Security Council at the White House, where he served as a member of Special Envoy George Mitchell’s team, led U.S. diplomatic efforts in Syria and Lebanon, and advised President Obama through the early months of the upheavals in Arab states in 2011.

On Shabbat afternoon, Ambassador Shapiro led a spirited session for the Tzevet Israel entitled “How is Israel Faring in the Trump Era? It’s Complicated.”  It was a one-hour presentation that highlighted some of the top challenges that Israel is facing, and the United States policies with regard to these challenges.  His presentation was clear and even-handed, and left room for optimism.  What a privilege it was to be present for this session!

Ms. Julie Fisher spent and is still spending her time in Israel as a very involved activist on behalf of African asylum seekers, culminating in the recent formation of the Consortium for Israel and the Asylum-Seekers.  The Consortium is “a forum for representatives of organizations and individuals within and outside of Israel to coordinate efforts and share information regarding the situation of asylum seekers in Israel.”  To learn more on her fascinating and intensive work with the Consortium, see here:

and here: