AMERICAN FRIENDS OF THE ISRAEL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA APPOINTS DANIELLE AMES SPIVAK AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR













Danielle Ames Spivak


NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (AFIPO) announced today that the board, following a unanimous vote in December, has appointed Danielle Ames Spivak as executive director, effective immediately.

“Danielle is exuberant and passionate about the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,” said David A. Hirsch, President of the Board of the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. “Danielle’s genuine love for Israel and the arts, together with her strategic thinking and impeccable execution will make her an exemplary Executive Director.”

“The Israel Philharmonic creates profoundly brilliant experiences for diverse audiences in Israel, America and around the world,” said Ames Spivak. “Our patrons inspire me each day to continue to expand our presence in North America as an impactful way for people to support Israel and connect to Jewish culture.”

She added: “I am proud to represent an orchestra that is an industry leader in the areas of artistic excellence and music education. I have had the pleasure of working with Zubin Mehta and our dedicated board and staff over the past several years and I am thrilled to be continuing to do so in the role of Executive Director.”

Since 2011, Ames Spivak has worked with the AFIPO in the role of West Coast Director. Previously, she worked for the American Friends of the Israel Museum.

Ames Spivak holds a B.A. in Political Science and Art History from McGill University and an M.A. in Museum Studies from New York University. A native of Vancouver, Ames Spivak resides in Los Angeles.

The AFIPO is the North American support organization for the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO). The IPO is the leading orchestra in Israel and globally recognized as a world-class symphonic ensemble. The IPO will kick off its 2019 U.S. Tour on Feb. 2. The six-city tour will mark Maestro Zubin Mehta’s final U.S. tour before he retires as Music Director of the IPO in 2019, leaving behind a legacy of exceptional musicianship and humanitarianism.

American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra believes that music can move the world. The organization maintains an unwavering commitment to supporting the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in its concert performances throughout Israel and on global tours as Israel’s primary cultural ambassador.


They also help sustain the orchestra’s expansive music education programs for participants of all ages and backgrounds. With legendary Maestro Zubin Mehta at the helm for nearly 50 years, the orchestra is a vibrant ensemble of over 100 gifted musicians. Israeli conductor Lahav Shani will assume the position of Music Director in the 2019-2020 concert season and usher in a new era for the orchestra.


                            8-14 Shevet, 5779                                      Jan 14-20, 2019 -- THE JEWISH OBSERVER, LOS ANGELES --  618th Web Ed.

                                                                           

                                                                                                         

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HEIDI SCHNEIDER ELECTED NEW CHAIR OF MASORTI FOUNDATION















                                     Rabbi Harold Kravitz & Heidi Schneider


The Masorti Foundation for Conservative Judaism in Israel is proud to announce the election of Heidi Schneider as its incoming Chair of the Board effective January 1, 2019.  To her 25+ years of work on behalf of Masorti/Conservative Judaism here and in Israel, Ms. Schneider brings the passion of someone who has chosen Judaism.


A former litigator and a public speaker, she is an ardent Zionist, seeker of social justice, and fearless truth teller. Rabbi Robert Slosberg, current Chair, said: “The Foundation is in good hands with Heidi; she’s a leader of great integrity, matching her words and beliefs with action.”
 
On a mission to Israel, Ms. Schneider confronted Member of Knesset Yair Lapid because her son--while attending high school in Israel--had been told he was not a Jew. She asked: “How do you think it felt to my Jewish child to be told in Israel, the country he loves, by an Israeli, a fellow Jew, that he is not Jewish? It makes my blood boil, and it should yours, too. I ask you, MK Lapid, can you assure me that you will do everything in your power to assure that my children, and the children of other faithful converts to Judaism will be welcomed as equally Jewish in the only Jewish state?”

The pursuit of an egalitarian, pluralistic, and welcoming Israel has been central to Ms. Schneider’s life and to her work as past president of her congregation, Adath Jeshurun in Minneapolis, as a lay leader of the Overseas Committee of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, and as a Trustee of the Masorti Foundation. In all these roles she has been an inspiring community leader and teacher.

Rabbi Harold Kravitz of Adath Jeshurun says: “Heidi has been a trusted partner, a warm and true friend, a tireless advocate for the congregation, and for Masorti/Conservative Judaism. I’m proud and delighted at her elevation to Chair of the Masorti Foundation. Heidi’s vision for building a thriving future for modern religious streams in Israel is exactly what’s needed—with her dynamism and spirit, she’ll be unstoppable.”

Beth Leonard, former Board Chair of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation who now serves on the Board of Governors of JAFI (Jewish Agency for Israel), adds: “Heidi is an extraordinary leader of our community and our synagogue. She inspires with wisdom and kindness, championing the cause of Masorti Judaism in Israel.”

 “I’m honored,” says Ms. Schneider, "to have been chosen Chair. I am continually inspired by the important work of our Masorti colleagues in Israel. I’m prepared to channel my energy to hold the State of Israel true to the words of its founding document, that it “will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education, and culture…”    

Ms. Schneider and Executive Director Gideon Aronoff are laser-focused on issues of religious equality and social justice in Israel including:    Recognition of the legitimacy of all Jewish streams in Israel;  Acceptance of converts, including Masorti Jews from Uganda; Full equality at the Kotel, including expanded egalitarian prayer space; Support for the rights of the disabled to fully participate in Jewish practice; starting with Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies.