This October ICAN is celebrating its first anniversary! 🎉 We’re proud that in such a short time we have worked in cities, states, and across the country to further our mission to empower Israeli-Americans and allies for a better America, a more secure Israel, and a stronger U.S. – Israel alliance, from Los Angeles, California, to Boston, Massachusetts, to Las Vegas, Nevada, and Seattle, Washington, Israeli-Americans and allied communities are making a difference through ICAN.

Together, we have encouraged our communities to vote and participate in elections, combated anti-Israel hate and fostered mutual respect in West Hollywood, worked with the United States Senate to recognize Israeli-American heritage, promoted tolerance through Holocaust education, fought the movement to boycott Israel, and helped shape ethnic studies curriculums to better reflect our communities.

U.S. Senate Recognizes Israeli-American Heritage

This past Spring, April 2019, ICAN worked directly with U.S. Senators Kevin Cramer from North Dakota, Marco Rubio from Florida, and Ted Cruz from Texas to introduce Senate Resolution 143 recognizing the contributions of the Israeli-American community and condemning all forms of discrimination that aim to marginalize or disenfranchise members of the Israeli-American community, especially the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement.

This important resolution created an opportunity to start a new conversation with Senators, both Republicans and Democrats, educating them about the Israeli-American community, our concerns, our challenges, and our hopes for the future. ICAN will continue to use this resolution through 2020 to engage U.S. Senators and advance our domestic and foreign policy agendas.

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Speaking Out Against Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib

In mid-August, ICAN condemned Representatives Omar and Tlaib as they purposely sought to sow division between the United States and Israel by working with fringe anti-Semitic and anti-Israel groups to lead an antagonistic U.S. Congressional delegation to “Palestine” and colluding with extremist elements to actively undermine U.S. foreign policy in the region and delegitimize Israel.

Israeli-Americans Vote 2018

Leading up to the 2018 election, ICAN’s launched the first ever get out the vote campaign for Israeli-Americans. This unique campaign leveraged a digital strategy through video, social media, and an online voter registration platform to engage Israeli-Americans, encouraging them to register for the first time or update their voter registration so they were able to participate in the upcoming election.

The campaign also educated elected officials about the Israeli-American constituency that lives in their districts, cities, and states across the country. The campaign was such a success that the City of Beverly Hills recognized ICAN for its groundbreaking work ensuring that the Israeli-American immigrant community was active and engaged in the 2018 election.

City of Beverly Hills Recognizes ICAN

The Beverly Hills City Council recognizes ICAN for the first ever Get Out the Vote campaign for Israeli-Americans.

Establishing the Nevada Center of Tolerance

ICAN, in partnership with ANCA the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region, advocated for the establishment of the Nevada Center of Tolerance for Holocaust and Genocide Education which will educate and inspire Nevadans statewide to recognize and reflect on history, confront hatred, and promote human dignity and awareness of human rights. The Center will serve as a place of active learning for Nevadans of all ages and all backgrounds, cultivating a sense of moral responsibility among our residents so that they will respond to the monumental challenges that confront our world. On September 24, 2019, the Nevada Commission on Tourism endorsed the project which will allow visitors from all over the U.S. and world to be educated about our common human history; another contributing factor to make Nevada a world-class state and cultural center for human rights and education.

ICAN Nevada Chairwoman Sigal Chattah on Las Vegas News KSNV supporting AB 257 establishing the Nevada State Holocaust Museum.

ICAN student activists testify at Nevada legislature to support a bill establishing a state museum for Holocaust and genocide education.

Combating Anti-Israel Hate in Ethnic Studies Curriculums

During the Summer of 2019 the California Department of Education released an ethnic studies curriculum that purposely excluded the Jewish experience, ignored antisemitism as a form of bigotry, and promoted the movement to boycott Israel. ICAN activated thousands of advocates to contact their elected officials, state legislators, the superintendent of public education, and the governor to oppose the introduction of this curriculum into California’s public schools. In addition, ICAN worked with local officials in the cities of Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, and Los Angeles to pass resolutions condemning the antisemitic and anti-Israel elements of the curriculum and encouraged the California Department of Education to draft a curriculum that is inclusive and representative of the state’s diversity. In addition, ICAN is monitoring the development of an ethnic studies curriculum in Washington State.

ICAN California Chairwoman Vered Elkouby Nisim speaks at the Beverly Hills City Council to support a resolution condemning California’s draft ethnic studies curriculum.

ICAN California Committee Member Dina Leeds speaks at the Beverly Hills City Council to support a resolution condemning California’s draft ethnic studies curriculum.

Promoting Tolerance through Holocaust Education

Recognizing that bigotry, intolerance, and anti-Semitism are on the rise, ICAN prioritized Holocaust and genocide education through legislation in Congress and in the states of Nevada and Massachusetts in order to advance historical knowledge, to preserve the memory of those who suffered, and to encourage students to reflect upon these events and inspire respect, tolerance, and mutual understanding. It is our hope that Holocaust and genocide education will cultivate a sense of moral responsibility among students of all ages and backgrounds so that they will be prepared to respond constructively to incidents of hate and intolerance. In Congress, ICAN has supported the Never Again Education Act which will provide federal support for Holocaust Education and the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act which will provide a standard definition of antisemitism applicable for state and local educational agencies and schools.

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Combating & Condemning Anti-Semitism

Combating Anti-Israel Hate in West Hollywood

From December 2018 through to May 2019 the Los Angeles area chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace pressured the City of West Hollywood to show an anti-Israel movie entitled “1948: Creation or Catastrophe” which was filled with outright lies and falsehoods about the rebirth of the modern State of Israel. ICAN, along with allies in the LGBT community from West Hollywood’s Congregation Kol Ami, and the Persian Jewish community from the Iranian American Jewish Federation engaged hundreds of activists who protested the film before and during the screening. Thanks to this action, a couple of weeks later, the City of West Hollywood hosted a pro-Israel event recognizing Yom Hazikaron and Yom Haatzmaut, Israel’s memorial and independence days.

Combating BDS

Working at the state and federal levels of government, ICAN supported legislation which will prevent governments from subsidizing the discriminatory movement to boycott Israel. In Massachusetts, we worked with legislators to craft H.2722 which would prevent any company from getting a state contract if it engages in discrimination in public accommodations, for example, if a hotel hosting a BDS conference prevents Israelis from attending merely due to their national origin. ICAN also supported House Resolution 246 and Senate Resolution 120 which condemns the global BDS movement.

Washington State Senate Town Hall

Celebrating ICAN's Leaders

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