AJC Project Interchange began with a bold idea: bring to Israel key decision-makers to learn and draw informed conclusions about the country for themselves.
For more than 35 years, Project Interchange has provided in-depth insights into Israel’s diversity, democracy, and complexity to nearly 6,000 leaders from 110 countries, showing the real Israel to prime ministers, diplomats, and others, including United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who participated in the first delegation to Israel.
Founded in 1982 by Debra Berger, Project Interchange is committed to presenting the reality of Israel in a fair and balanced light.
Project Interchange became part of AJC in 1992, after Berger and AJC CEO David Harris, who was then the AJC Washington director, recognized the organizations’ complementary missions. Berger passed away in 2010, but her remarkable legacy endures and grows with each delegation.
Project Interchange's approach provides key decision-makers and opinion leaders with the opportunity to interact with a broad range of experts and leaders in Israeli society – Jews, Muslims, Christians, Israelis, and Palestinians – as they travel throughout the country. In so doing, they gain direct, in-depth exposure to Israel’s diversity, democracy, complexity, and accomplishments, and have the opportunity to ask probing questions in an unfiltered environment.
Project Interchange has built bonds of understanding among participants and with their Israeli counterparts, enabling them to identify issues of common ground.
Today, Project Interchange sends dozens of delegations to Israel each year, tailored to the interests and expertise of its participants, and empowering these leaders with multiple narratives and concrete information to develop informed opinions about Israel for themselves. They return home, share their perspectives with their networks, engage with AJC offices around the world, and foster mutually-beneficial bilateral partnerships.
The great success of Project Interchange is not that it provides participants with all the answers, but that it inspires them to delve more deeply, to think of Israel more carefully and with greater empathy.... This program is without peer.
Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat
Former U.S. Ambassador to the EU