Because I care about my people and about Israel is that I'm today concerned. When it comes to Israel, Israel is at one of the most dangerous historical junctures since Independence. Israeli society is divided and polarized with little conversation happening between the supporters and the opponents of settlement activity; between the supporters and opponents of negotiations with the Palestinians; little conversation (although this one is improving) between religious and secular Israelis. Israel, as an immigrant society, has a large share of fractures lines, and very few people reaching across those lines to reach out to the other side.
Iran has been given a green line to keep their nuclear achievements, and rewarded with access to several billion dollars in previously frozen funds. Nobody is really sure whether the Iranian leadership will indeed follow up on their commitments under the terms of the negotiations which took place in Geneva – but the majority of American, according to recent polls, seem to believe they will not.
Regarding our people, the Pew Research Center Portrait of Jewish Americans is conveying a clear message: American Jews made it – they see themselves, and are seen by others, as an integral part of American society; that's the good news.
The bad news is that along with that integration came a profound transformation of the connections American Jews make to Judaism and to Israel, raising questions as to whether the current structures of the Organized Jewish Community can survive – and for many also raising questions as to whether the next generation will be able to transmit the sense of Jewish identity to their children. Whether the next generation of Jews will still see themselves as part of the larger collective of the global Jewish family depends on what we do to address this challenge.
I'm also aware that being a Jewish professional is to help the community to deal with the changes and adjustments necessary to remain vibrant and relevant; I'm also aware that promoting change doesn't make you many friends. Over the last 24 months this community has undergone very profound changes at many levels...and will probably need to go through more in years to come. If you don't change with your environment, you're left behind.
Being a Jewish professional is not about getting rich; there are easier ways to do that. It is not about power, because professionals must defer to volunteer leadership. God knows it is not about being respected either...so why do it?. My answer? - I want to make sure I remain true to my call, and that I like what I see every morning in the mirror.