The Israeli American Council – Arizona is working to find a new regional director since Shahar Edry was appointed to a national position in 2017. The members who will lead the IAC Arizona in the interim are Susan Bondy, Sigal Urman, Nachum Erlich and Donna Barkel.
Susan Bondy grew up on Kibbutz Sasa in the upper Galilee – one mile from the Lebanese border, and to this day, “home” to Susan is Sasa. From 2004 to 2008 Susan volunteered full time for the Israeli Consulate in New York. She worked on many projects and was a co-founder of the Brand Israel Group. Recently Susan was offered and has accepted the position of board chair of the IAC Arizona. “This is so exciting” she says. “Now I have a chance to bring Israeliness to Arizona.”
Sigal Urman moved to Arizona 9 years ago. “It took me some time to understand that I needed to do something here for the future of my children and that’s how Shevet Shemesh was born. To arrive every Sunday and see the 80 tribe children in their khaki uniforms singing Hatikva and the Scouts anthem brings a tear to my eye every time,” she says. “I am proud to be the head of the troop and proud to be part of the wonderful community of Phoenix, Arizona. I joined the IAC council in Arizona with the belief that together we can take our community to new heights and strengthen the bonds of the Israeli Americans.”
Nachum Erlich grew up in Ramat Gan and Bnei Berak, Israel. He was a yeshiva bocher until he decided to join the IDF. This reason he joined the IAC was for his four children. Nachum feels, “…the younger generation of American Jews and Israeli American Jews are losing their connection with the state of Israel. It is up to us to change this unfortunate disconnect and bring Israel here to the local community.” Nachum has been involved in the IAC since it started in Arizona.
Donna Barkel was born in Petach Tiqva , Israel and grew up in Hertzelia and Arad. She moved to Arizona 3 years ago. “Israel will always be my home, but I’m also realistic and realize that with all the love my kids have for Israel – the USA is their home now,” she says. “I am proud and excited to be a part of the IAC, and looking forward to making a difference, to welcoming each one in our community, and bringing as much of Israel that I can – to the States.”