Getting Cain and Abel to Cooperate
by Henry Levy
Building a shared future for Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens. Is it a dream or can it become a reality? The Abraham Fund Initiatives has been a leading advocate for coexistence and equality since 1989. Since then they have funded dozens of organizations each year with this goal in mind. Arab Israelis have had their economic gap with their Jewish counterparts reduced over the years, but wages still show a 40% difference. There are other discrepancies as well including a much higher infant mortality rate among the Arab citizens.
There have been many positive accomplishments including the fact that the Abraham Fund has been called on by some government officials to utilize their expertise in finding ways for the Jewish and Arab populations to better understand each other and live and work together. When Jewish and Arab Israelis can learn to treat each other with respect, the seeds for peace will be planted and future harvests of goodwill can be possible.
Recently, the Abraham Fund Initiatives held its 14th Annual Coexistence Benefit. The keynote address was by Reza Aslar Aslan on the topic of “Iraq, Israel and the Hope for Peace in the Middle East”. Mr. Aslan argued that religion, democracy and pluralism can coexist in the Muslim world, and highlighted Israel’s potential as a model of a democratic state grounded in religious values. Rabbi Jonathan Lipnick chaired the event which raised nearly $400,000 towards the organization’s $4 million annual budget. Fund Chairman, Alan Slifka also addressed those present as did Ami Nahshon, President and CEO who focused on the future … where all hope lies. Mr. Nahshon’s remarks follow.
To learn more about this exceptional organization, you may contact them at 212-661-7770 or visit them online at www.abrahamfund.org.