ICAN Welcomes Mazi Melesa Pilip to Race for New York's 3rd Congressional District


December 14, 2023

The Israeli-American Civic Action Network (ICAN) is proud to welcome Mazi Melesa Pilip to the race in the upcoming special election on February 13th for the 3rd Congressional District of New York. This district covers parts of Nassau County and Queens. If elected, Pilip will be the first Israeli-American elected to Congress.

“As the first and only Israeli-American organization dedicated from day one to ensure that Israelis in America have their voice heard in the halls of government, we are thrilled that the New York Republican Party has chosen to nominate Mazi Melesa Pilip to fill the vacated 3rd Congressional District seat,” said Robert Mayer, National Co-chair at ICAN. “We look forward to learning more about Mazi and supporting her candidacy.”

Mazi was born in Ethiopia and immigrated to Israel at age 12 as part of Operation Solomon. Her military service in the Israel Defense Forces’ Paratroopers Brigade and her educational achievements, including a master’s degree in diplomacy and security from Tel Aviv University, demonstrate her commitment to leadership and community.

After marrying Adalbert Pilip, an American-Ukrainian-Jewish medical student, she moved to the United States and settled in Great Neck, New York. Here, she has been a key figure in community revitalization and advocacy for Israel. Mazi is an Orthodox Jew, vice president of her synagogue, and a mother of seven.

In November 2021, at 43, Mazi was elected to the Nassau County Legislature, representing the 10th district, which includes Manhasset, Manhasset Hills, North Hills, Searingtown, Herricks, and Great Neck. She won this seat, historically held by a Democrat, by seven percentage points, even as she gave birth to twins weeks before the election.

Her campaign focused on reviving Great Neck’s downtown and building bridges among diverse communities. Mazi is the first Republican from Great Neck ever elected as a Nassau County Legislator.

In November 2023, Mazi successfully secured a second term as Nassau County legislator for District 10. Running as a Republican she defeated her Democratic challenger by a significant 60% to 40% margin. She dedicated this victory to Israel, underscoring her deep connection to her heritage and commitment to representing the values and interests of her constituents.

Her priorities include public safety, supporting businesses impacted by COVID-19, and combating antisemitism. She currently serves as Chairwoman of the Nassau County Legislature Towns, Villages & Cities Committee, and Vice Chairwoman of the Health & Social Services Committee.The October 7, 2023 Palestinian Hamas-led attack on Israel underscores the need for leaders who are experienced in complex security issues and Mazi Melesa Pilip’s candidacy for New York’s 3rd Congressional District is vital in this context. Her experience as an Israeli military veteran and her multicultural journey equip her with unique insights into Middle Eastern peace and security. ICAN’s welcoming of Mazi to the race reflects our commitment to empowering Israelis in America and strengthening the U.S.-Israel alliance.

The Israeli-American Civic Action Network is dedicated to empowering Israeli immigrants and American allies to create change for a better America, a more secure Israel, and a stronger U.S. – Israel alliance through advocacy education and civic action. Learn more at IsraelUSA.org.