Embracing Better, Together.
Liberalism is under assault in the United States, Israel, and around the world. As the progressive impulses in Israeli and American societies are challenged by darker forces, American progressives are drifting away from Israel and Israeli politics is just a shadow of its progressive roots. The acceleration of these trends will harm both countries, as well as advancements toward equality, justice, and peace. For these reasons, uniting in common purpose the progressive communities in the U.S., Israel, and Palestine is more urgent than ever.
The goal of Heart of a Nation is to bring together progressives of all faiths and backgrounds to form an intentional Community of Purpose that is committed to the ambitious task of making Israel and America better countries.
Israel-oriented organizations generally fall into two camps: those that celebrate without acknowledging what needs to be fixed, and those that criticize without acknowledging anything worth celebrating. By engaging Israel and America as works in progress, Heart of a Nation seeks to attract those inclined to celebrate and fix.
In its broadest aspirations, Heart of a Nation commits to:
- Provide progressive allies with affinity-building forums.
- Build a new multi-media platform for the distribution of original content and sharing of content to other platforms.
- Showcase efforts and accomplishments of progressive allies.
- Match new projects and initiatives with committed funders.
- Promote political and policy champions.
Heart of a Nation will also produce an online journal under the banner Heart & Soul, which will focus on American and Israeli frustrations, aspirations, and efforts related to the quest for Social and Economic Justice, Gender and Racial Equality, the Role of Religion in Society, Catastrophic Climate Change, Civil Discourse in Pluralistic Societies, Police Practices and Criminal Justice Reform, the Treatment of Refugees and Asylum Seekers, as well as Reducing Conflict Within and Between Nations and the Vigorous Pursuit of Peace.
Journal articles will be co-authored by prominent Israeli, Palestinian and American progressives who will explore how liberal activists around the world address similar challenges, while acknowledging distinctions that must be navigated. Heart & Soul will be a platform for progressives who recognize that Israel and America are defined not only by their political currents, but by their robust cultures, judicial systems, media outlets, academic institutions, civic engagement movements, and non-governmental organizations. Each issue of the Journal will be solution-oriented, focusing on a current controversy or topic of concern.
Published six times a year, the journal will be distributed to policymakers and opinion-leaders throughout the world. Content will be amplified through a dedicated interactive forum (“Straight from the Heart “) and through podcasts, webinars and other platforms that appeal to progressive activists.
Heart of a Nation recognizes that Israel’s liberal ethos cannot be taken for granted and that it will be undercut if Israel abandons the Democratic Party or if Democrats turn their back on Israel. Our movement will appeal to progressives who want to fix things and yearn for constructive ways to do so.
When members of a Community of Purpose work together to solve problems, they feel more connected toward one another. Social Scientists call this Bonding Capital, and it forges personal connections and meaningful relationships.
By creating a platform for progressives from the U.S., Israel, and Palestine to develop solutions to problems they all face, community members will feel they have a stake in each other’s future. With sustained effort over time, the resulting bonds of affinity and appreciation will help ensure an enduring alliance between a progressive America and a progressive Israel.
Jonathan Kessler, Founder/CEO
Committees in formation, additional bios and photos to be linked shortly.
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“Has Israel fulfilled its prophetic aspirations? Not yet.” – David Ben-Gurion
“It’s like family – you love them, and also feel the most critical toward them.” – Natalie Portman
“The best response to what’s wrong is to figure out how to do things better.” – Karen Brunwasser
“We should better not batter the nations we love.” – Brian Jaffee
“The aspiration to do better is what unites America and Israel.” – A’shanti Gholar