The American Friends of Yitzhak Rabin (AFYR), a non-profit supporting educational programs and initiatives that reflect the legacy of Yitzhak Rabin, announced today that its board has elected a new chair and the organization will operate moving forward under a new name: The Yitzhak Rabin Foundation (YRF). Ambassador Ned L. Siegel will replace Stuart W. Davidson as chair and Yuval Rabin will serve as honorary chairman of the Foundation.
The Yitzhak Rabin Foundation will raise funds for Israeli and U.S. organizations and NGOs which voice the values, the legacy and vision of Yitzhak Rabin – democracy, peace and a solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. From 2004 to 2014, the organization dedicated resources to the official Israeli State memorial, the Yitzhak Rabin Center and Israeli Museum in Tel Aviv. The organization donated over $17 million in support of the building’s construction and educational programs. With the Rabin Center built and flourishing, the YRF believes the commemoration of Yitzhak Rabin can be broadened and advanced through a variety of new projects that promote democracy and better understanding among Israel’s diverse groups as well as its neighbors.
“We are supporting many important new initiatives that reflect Rabin’s intrinsic belief in and his efforts to realize Israel’s democratic values, sustainability, security, peace and reconciliation with its neighbors,” said Ambassador Ned L. Siegel. “I am honored to lead the next chapter of this organization and thank Stuart W. Davidson for his many years of leadership and the significant accomplishments he helped us achieve.
“Due to the variety of new programs we are supporting and the initiatives we are exploring partnerships with, it only made sense to rename the organization to the ‘Yitzhak Rabin Foundation’ to showcase the new, multi-faceted approach we are taking to raise money for programs that reflect the legacy of the late Prime Minister,” Amb. Siegel continued.
“My father is remembered as a military leader, statesman, peacemaker and unifier. Known as ‘Mr. Security,’ he took dramatic steps towards resolving the conflicts with Israel’s neighbors, but he was also steadfast in his efforts to change Israel’s priorities from within,” said Yuval Rabin. “My father shifted the country from one ‘struggling for survival’ to a flourishing, democratic nation seeking equal opportunity for all its citizens. And given the current state of affairs in the Middle East, it is important now more than ever to ensure his legacy is continued and helps to shape Israel’s future leaders. I am proud to serve as the honorary chairman of this Foundation that commemorates my father and together we will work to ensure his legacy is executed through a variety of programs that speak to my father’s vision.”
Current programs the Yitzhak Rabin Foundation supports include:
Yitzhak Rabin Fellowship in Graduate Democracy Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
In 2015 the AFYR funded the first Yitzhak Rabin Fellowship in Post Graduate Democracy Studies as part of the Advanced Graduate Studies Program (AGSP) in Political Science and International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This elite graduate program seeks to nurture the formation of a cadre of experts in the areas of civics, democracy studies, public policy and international relations. Rabin Fellows represent scholars and researchers who will have an impact on Israel’s foreign agenda. The endowment funds one five-year Fellow annually in perpetuity, and the YRF anticipates expanding its commitment in the future. The Foundation officially inaugurated the program on May 10, 2016 at a ceremony at the Hebrew University with the selection of its first Fellow, 32–year-old doctoral student, Ofir Hadad.
Our Generation Speaks at Brandeis University
Our Generation Speaks (OGS) is a leadership and social enterprise incubator bringing together nearly two dozen young Israelis and Palestinians for a three-month residency. Based at the Heller School for Social Policy & Management at Brandeis University in Boston, the program’s coursework focuses on entrepreneurship, financial management, operations, negotiation, conflict resolution and strategy. Fellows receive personal mentorship from a highly accomplished network of Palestinian, Israeli, and American advisors from the private, public and social sectors. Over time, OGS will support successive cohorts of Palestinian and Israeli Fellows who built trust, worked harmoniously, and can collaborate on social impact ventures in the region.
The IDC Herzliya Conference
The Institute for Policy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya is convener of the prestigious Herzliya Conference, which will take place this year from June 14-16, 2016. The annual Conference is Israel’s foremost global security and policy gathering, drawing senior participants from government, business and academia within Israel and from around the world to address pressing national, regional and global issues. Held in a non-partisan, conversational atmosphere, the Conference covers many topics closely associated with Rabin’s legacy, such as: military and diplomatic domains, economic viability, social cohesion, sustainability, government performance, education and world Jewish affairs. The YRF has provided a grant to IDC Herzliya for major sponsorship of the Conference, which will include two sessions on the Conference agenda with Yuval Rabin.
For more information on the Yitzhak Rabin Foundation, please visit www.therabinfoundation.org.
About the Yitzhak Rabin Foundation
The Yitzhak Rabin Foundation (YRF) is a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in New York formed to perpetuate the values, vision and legacy of the late Prime Minister. It supports programs that reflect Rabin’s intrinsic belief in and his efforts to realize Israel’s democratic values, sustainability, security, peace and reconciliation with its neighbors. Yuval Rabin, Yitzhak Rabin’s son, serves as honorary chair and plays an active role in the Foundation. www.therabinfoundation.org.