September 14, 2011 / 15 Elul 5771
Initiative to be Launched in New York this Wednesday, September 14th, 7:00 PM
at Yeshiva University, Presidents Conference Room,2495 Amsterdam Ave
New York — In the first initiative of its kind, El Al Israel Airlines —in partnership with The Jewish Agency for Israel, Stand With Us and Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs— has launched a program to train pilots and other flight personnel as spokespeople who will advocate on behalf of Israel in order to improve the country’s image in Jewish communities throughout the Diaspora.
Conceptualized by El Al CEO Eliezer Shkedy, who will be speaking at the launch in New York this evening, the project will roll out this fall in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto. The aim is to use El Al personnel, who are widely respected and trusted, to offer an authentic and comprehensive view of Israel and present its valuable contributions to the world. Participating airline employees are currently taking part in a three-month training course and will soon begin, on a voluntary basis during their downtime abroad, to give talks and host meetings at Jewish Community Centers, federations and university campuses.
The project will be apolitical, explained organizers. “We’re going to be presenting the Israel we know and love - a diverse and open society with a thriving democracy, an exceptional culture of warmth and innovation, and one of the world’s most robust economies”, said Alon Futterman, the Jewish Agency’s shlichut (emissary) development director, and director of the El Al Ambassadors program. “This project is so unique because of the people-to-people aspect. We believe we need to use our most engaging, interesting and worldly people to share the incredible story of modern Israel and, once again, connect with Jews around the world. We need to empower Diaspora Jews as our advocates at the grassroots level, and who better to inspire them than Israel’s top pilots and El Al?”
Programs are offered free of charge. To schedule a program, please contact the Consulate General of Israel in New York via the following link: http://www.israelfm.org/index.php/en/speakers-bureau/speaker-request-form or contact Alon Futterman at the Jewish Agency: email@example.com.
About the Jewish Agency for Israel
Established in 1929, the Jewish Agency was instrumental in the founding of the State of Israel and now works to ensure the future of a connected, committed, global Jewish People with a strong Israel at its center. The Jewish Agency addresses the most pressing issues in Jewish life by working to Inspire Jews throughout the world to Connect with their people, heritage and land, and Empower them to build a thriving Jewish future and strong Israel. The Jewish Agency pursues this goal by bringing young Jews to Israel for life-changing experiences and involving them in social activism in Israel and abroad.
About El Al Israel Airlines
El Al Israel Airlines is Israel’s national carrier. In 2010 El Al’s revenues totaled about $2 billion, and the airline flew about 2 million passengers that year. El Al serves about 38 world destinations directly and many other destinations around the globe, through cooperation agreements with other airlines. The Company operates 40 aircraft, 28 of which are self-owned. El Al is also Israel’s leading cargo carrier.
About Stand With Us
StandWithUs was founded in 2001 in response to the misinformation that often surrounds the Middle East conflict, and the inappropriate often anti-Semitic language used about Israel and/or the Jewish people worldwide. StandWithUs has offices and chapters in Los Angeles, New York, Denver, Michigan, Chicago, Seattle, Orange County, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, the UK, Australia, and Israel.