NEW YORK – There are times when communities hold meetings that coincide with external events which remind participants of the value of the time, talent, and treasure they donate to its causes.
When the New York Region of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) held its annual meeting last month, there was still hope that three kidnapped youths who were killed in the West bank would be found safe and quickly returned to their homes.
That was not to be, but the meeting’s weightiest activity was an exhortation for members to contact media and public officials to make sure the story was told in order to build international pressure for the boys’ release.
The participants, however, had personal memories of efforts, including outreach out to non-Jewish groups – like the Greek-Americans whose members and media were invited to the meeting – made a difference.
The mundane but important business of approving the minutes and electing new board members moved swiftly after the participants were welcomed by Michael Schmidt, the Director of AJC New York, who set the businesslike but friendly tone of the meeting.
He thanked everyone who contributed to the successes of the past year and spotlighted the coming year’s goals. Among those who offered remarks was AJC New York’s new president David Rose.
The event’s highlight was a discussion titled “All Eyes on Iran: Will the Interim Nuclear Deal Work?” between Ambassador Mark Wallace, Chief Executive Officer of United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) and Shalom TV correspondent and AJC NY Board Member Ellie Cohanim.
The meeting began with a slide show highlighting 2014’s events, including a commemoration of the Greek Jewish Holocaust co-hosted with the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC).
Schmidt told TNH he looks forward to discussions with Greek and Cypriot-Americans about deepening cooperation and developing alliances, and presenting special and joint events.
“AJC very much values the relationship that we have developed with HALC and the Greek community in general and we look forward to partnering with them on a number of strategic issues of mutual concern,” such as the development of energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean and the emergence of extremist parties throughout Europe.”