Houston (713) 439-1202 Houston@ajc.org

Randall Czarlinsky, Chapter Director
David Barish, Chapter President

Who We Are

The American Jewish Committee's Houston Chapter, founded in 1946 by local philanthropist Max Nathan, engages in advocacy on behalf of the State of Israel, safeguards the rights of Jews worldwide, promotes American pluralism, and enriches the quality of Jewish life in our community. The chapter provides leadership and guidance for several prominent city and statewide coalitions working on social justice issues that affect us as Americans and as Jews. Consisting of more than 500 families committed to religious freedom and church/state separation, AJC's Houston Chapter is a respected voice in our local political, religious, and academic arenas. As we work to protect human rights around the world, we are equally committed to strengthening our community and enriching the quality of life for all of our residents.



Rep. Gene Green discusses energy, Mid-east with AJC
Congressman Gene Green met with the Chapter this week in the AJC office to discuss his recent trip to Israel with the American Israel Education Foundation and energy policy. The Congressman, who had lunch with Susan Altschuler, David Barish, Paul Colbert, Scottie Kahn, Nat Levy, Ellen Grabois, Muriel Phillips, Marvin Rich, Tracy Stein and Consul General Asher Yardens, said it remains to be seen if PA Chairman Abbas has the muscle to deliver on his promises. Talking about increasing CAFE standards for the auto industry that AJC supports, the Congressman said with Washington politics it is doubtful the initial higher standard will be approved.

Presbyterian-Jewish dialogue
The local Presbyterian-Jewish dialogue met this week and plans to convene clergy and leadership from seven Presbyterian churches and synagogues during Sukkot to discuss relationship building between the two communities. Tthe local dialogue group hasheld meetings for the past three years.

South Africa

David Harris delivered the keynote address at the annual conference of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies. He also spoke to the South African Union of Jewish Students. Harris came as part of an AJC Africa Institute delegation. The group, led by Stanley Bergman, chair of AJC's Africa Institute, met with government officials, including Kgalema Motlanthe, secretary general of the African National Congress; S.G. Nene, deputy director general for Multilateral Affairs; and Manala Manzini, deputy director general for Intelligence. They also met with the Premier of the Western Cape, Ebrahim Rasool, and members of the South African Jewish community. This was the second AJC visit to South Africa in the last two months.

Fostering Israeli-Rwandan Cooperation

AJC's Africa Institute facilitated a visit of Israeli experts on industry standards and certifications, assembled by Mashav, to Rwanda. Eliseo Neuman, director of the Africa Institute, accompanied the Israeli expert team, joined by Israel's non-resident Ambassador to Rwanda, Yaakov Amitai. Neuman also met with Cheryl Sim, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy and Vincent Karega, Rwanda's minister in charge of industry and investment. Neuman visited the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee's Agahozo Shalom Youth Village, intended to house and school 500 Rwandan orphans.


Mideast Briefing: Israeli-Palestinian Talks a Step Forward
Even if the outcome of talks this week between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on final status issues "falls short of a decisive breakthrough, the effort will not be wasted," writes Eran Lerman, director of AJC's Israel/Middle East Office. Lerman notes that the possibility for economic cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians is a welcome development from these talks. READ BRIEFING.

Behind the scenes

AJC is actively engaged in the domestic and international scene as an advocacy organization.

The Chapter's Israel Library Project, chaired by Helene Zadok, will donate 50 of Amb. Dennis Ross' new book, Statecraft, to the Houston Public Library Foundation next Thursday after Ross' address to a joint board meeting of AJC, ADL, AIPAC and the CRc.

The Chapter's Energy Task Force, co-chaired by Max Blankfeld and Dick Sherry, is organizing a January forum and reaching out to our faith and ethnic groups to co-sponsor.

Chapter staff participated in the Greater Houston Partnership's discussion with Congressman Nick Lampson on energy and immigration.

The Chapter's Development Commission met this week to review our Institute of Human Relations Award luncheon, Max Nathan dinner and the Crucial Issues Series. Attending were David Barish, Ellen Grabois, Ben Samuels, David Scott, and Tracy Stein.

Upcoming Events:

Thursday, Sept. 6: featuring Amb. Dennis Ross planned joint board meeting with ADL, AIPAC, CRC and AJC
11:45 am

Friday, Sept. 7 at 11:45 am at AJC
Domestic Affairs Commission meeting

Friday evening, October 12: "New Texas laws impacting the schools: Bible courses and religious expression"
featuring Rep. Scott Hochberg, at Congregation Beth El co-sponsored by ADL


Thursday evening, October 18

ACCESS with Consuls General "Perspectives of the Middle East"


Sunday evening, November 11: ACCESS with Amy Jaffe on Energy Security

Monday, November 12: Institute of Human Relations Award Luncheon honoring Charles Foster, President, Tindall & Foster
Hyatt Regency Houston

Friday, November 16: AMERICA'S TABLE diversity celebration at the Marriott Westchase
at 8:30 am

Monday, December 3: AJC Consular Corps Chanukah Party
7 pm

Monday, January 28: Holocaust Museum Houston AJC/Museum Consular Corps program for UN Observance to remember the victims of the Holocaust featuring Fred Zeidman, Chair, US Holocaust Memorial Council
10 am

Wednesday, January 30: Max H. Nathan Award dinner honoring Alan Helfman
at the Omni Houston


Wednesday, Feb. 13 Annual Consular Corps Luncheon

featuring David Harris

Thursday, March 27: Annual Consular Corps Luncheon

Board Meetings

Thursdays at 11:45 am at AJC office
October 18, (Tues., November 6) January 19, February 21, April 17 and May 15

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