Erev Shabbat Service - A Progressive Perspective on the U.S.-Israel Relationship | Congregation Beth Am

Erev Shabbat Service - A Progressive Perspective on the U.S.-Israel Relationship

Come hear from alumni of the most recent Pacific Northwest Progressive Outreach mission to Israel, sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF). They will discuss what drew them to Israel, what they learned on the mission, how Israel advocacy connects to their personal and professional lives and what motivates them to share their Israel experience with others in the Bay Area, both in the Jewish community and beyond. The discussion will be moderated by Rabbi Janet Marder.

Following the service*, you're invited to a Shabbat dinner with Trevor Chandler, AIPAC's Pacific Northwest Progressive Outreach Director, who will speak about his path to Israel advocacy and his role within the organization. Dinner registration is now closed.

*This service will NOT be live streamed.

About the Panelists

  • Jason Vega is the President of Vega Public Affairs LLC in Sacramento.  In that capacity, he works with companies and organizations in a range of industry areas, focusing in particular on the healthcare and technology arenas. He formerly served as a Senior Policy Advisor for the international law firm of DLA Pipper, LLP. Prior to DLA Piper, Jason served as Corporate Vice President of State Government Affairs and Strategic Business Development for Magellan Health, Inc. and Director of Government Affairs and then as CEO of the Central Valley Health Network (CVHN). Jason currently serves as a board member for Care Community Health, and is member of the American Association of Political Consultants, the International Association of Political Consultants, the American Society for Public Administration, and the California Latino Capitol Association. Furthermore, Jason is a member of several of the California Chamber of Commerce’s policy committees addressing areas related to healthcare, transportation and infrastructure, labor and employment, taxation and international trade.
  • Josephine Zhao is a public school mom, an engaged community leader and a passionate advocate for students, parents and public schools. She is the founder of two non-profit organizations. The first,, focuses on educating and organizing San Francisco’s Asian American communities around subjects such as education, housing, quality of life and anti-discrimination issues. The second,, provides training to immigrant housing providers on ethical standards, translation services, conflict resolution between tenants and landlords and assistance for first-time homebuyers in navigating the purchase process. In 2017, Josephine was appointed to the San Francisco Board of Education’s Parent Advisory Council. Josephine is also an active member of the Parent-Teacher Association in her own children’s public school, where she serves as school/parent liaison.  She has been deeply involved in the public school community since 2009.

About the Shabbat Dinner Speaker

  • Trevor Chandler joined AIPAC in early 2017 as Regional Progressive Outreach Director after six years advocating for LGBTQ civil rights with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). At HRC, Trevor worked on seven marriage campaigns in roles from Field Organizer to Political Director. Previously, Trevor worked in the Congressional office of Paul Hodes and then on Hodes’ U.S. Senate campaign. He began his LGBTQ advocacy in his home state of New Hampshire where he crafted the whip operation which resulted in the largest legislative vote in favor of marriage equality in U.S. history, to Minnesota where he built the largest political coalition in the state’s history, to Oregon where he, most importantly, met his husband. For this work he was included in the 2015 Global Diversity List presented by The Economist as one of the Top 50 Diversity Leaders in Public Life alongside leaders such as Malala Yousafzai, Hillary Clinton and the Dalai Lama. In 2012 he was elected to be a delegate to the Democratic National Convention where he voted to nominate President Obama to a second term as well as include support for marriage equality in the Party platform.

About the The American Israel Education Foundation
The American Israel Education Foundation (“AIEF”) is the charitable organization affiliated with AIPAC, America’s pro-Israel lobby and was created in 1990. AIEF makes annual grants to support select educational programs including Middle East research, educational materials and conferences and leadership programs for university students. In addition to making grants for AIPAC programs, the Foundation funds educational seminars to Israel for members of Congress and those who influence them. These AIEF- sponsored trips help educate political leaders and influentials about the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship through firsthand experiences in Israel, briefings by experts on Middle East affairs and meetings with Israeli and Palestinian political leaders.

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