New Center Will Enhance Efforts to Create a More Integrated Region and Build on the Success of the Abraham Accords in a Post-October 7 World

After more than 30 years of active engagement in the Arab world, American Jewish Committee (AJC) today announced the establishment of AJC’s Center for a New Middle East, an initiative that will bolster the organization’s decades of work to build trust, understanding, and interconnectedness throughout the Middle East.

Announced by AJC CEO Ted Deutch at the conclusion of AJC Global Forum 2024, the AJC Center for a New Middle East will seek to advance Israel’s place in the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond. 

Through an integrated and expanded global approach, the Center will connect key areas of advocacy related to the region through AJC’s Washington, D.C. Office, AJC Jerusalem, and AJC Abu Dhabi: The Sidney Lerner Center for Arab-Jewish Understanding.

It will scale existing, proven programs and undertake new initiatives that forge and expand relationships with political, civil, business, interfaith, and religious leaders across the Arab world, while simultaneously cultivating ties with the next generation of change-makers. This will include forums and conferences, AJC Project Interchange delegations with leaders from the region, and people to people engagement opportunities. 

“As we look to the future of the Middle East, we must  be ambitious, and we have to think big,” said AJC CEO Ted Deutch. “The new AJC Center for a New Middle East will take what AJC is already doing around the world and supercharge it so that we can ensure the long-term success of our vision of a more interconnected, prosperous, and peaceful Middle East.”  

AJC is launching its Center for a New Middle East at a time of peril and uncertainty for Israelis, Palestinians, and the broader region – in the aftermath of the Hamas massacre and kidnapping of Israelis on October 7, 2023, and amid Israel’s existential war against that Iran-backed terror organization, which has taken the lives of innocent Palestinians and inflamed the region. It is also a time when U.S., Arab, and Israeli leaders continue to pursue plans for an Israeli-Saudi peace agreement, discuss new approaches to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and explore the establishment of a new security architecture against common threats.

AJC’s decades of work with governments in the Middle East and North Africa region to increase cooperation with Israel and, by extension, the Jewish people has enabled the organization to sustain vital channels of communication with Arab leaders spanning sectors and fields, and has nurtured trust-based relationships. The strength and success of these relationships are most visibly demonstrated through AJC Abu Dhabi: The Sidney Lerner Center for Arab-Jewish Understanding, opened in 2021, which is central to AJC’s success in fostering ties with governments, business and civil society leaders, think tanks, interfaith partners, and Jewish communities across the Gulf, laying the foundation for a new era of cooperation.

AJC’s Center for a New Middle East is a visionary endeavor that will not only instill hope in a region fraught with turmoil but also showcase what is possible when Jews and Muslims, Israelis and Arabs, set aside their differences and work to forge a new path forward. 

“AJC has been engaged in and visiting the Gulf, North Africa, and the Levant for more than three decades, and over time we have sustained relationships that contributed to the establishment of the Abraham Accords. That essential work continues every day,” said AJC Chief Policy and Political Affairs Officer Jason Isaacson, who will also lead the Center for a New Middle East. “AJC’s global infrastructure, the reputation we’ve established as a respected partner and bridge-builder, and our people – both lay and professional – who are committed to shaping a better future for the region, have enabled us to have tough and necessary conversations. The Center will allow us to build on this record and maximize the impact of AJC’s work for Israel’s security and Middle East peace and cooperation across the U.S. and around the world.”

The Center will be based in Washington, D.C., recognizing the central role that the U.S. plays in supporting regional integration.



AJC is the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people. With headquarters in New York, 25 regional offices across the United States, 15 overseas posts, as well as partnerships with 38 Jewish community organizations worldwide, AJC’s mission is to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel and to advance human rights and democratic values in the United States and around the world. For more, please visit



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