Forward Thinking

Jewish Musical Chairs at J Street, Israel Project

By Nathan Guttman

  • Print
  • Share Share
the israel project
Alan Elsner

Jewish professionals are known to play musical chairs and switch from one organization to another. It’s mostly institutional inside baseball, but some moves are more interesting than others.

Take the switch by Alan Elsner, who until recently was a top official at The Israel Project, a centrist organization devoted to the defense of Israel’s public image. Elsner has moved to the dovish lobby J Street, a group that challenges the notion that American Jews cannot be critical of the Israeli government and its actions.

Elsner, a veteran journalist and author, has been named J Street’s vice president for communications. He told the Forward that the move, which may seem like a sharp political shift, is a “comfortable ideological fit” for him.

“I believe that the way to improve Israel’s image is through reaching a two-state solution,” he said, adding that highlighting the “nice things” about Israel while ignoring the conflict will not get pro-Israel advocates closer to that goal.

Elsner’s move to J Street is one of several shifts in personnel that have taken place at TIP since the organization’s change of leadership that brought Josh Block to its helm, replacing the founder and first president Jennifer Laszlo-Mizrahi. Another departure was of Laura Kam, the group’s executive director for global affairs, who recently launched her own consulting firm.

In the other direction, TIP has landed David Hazony, a Jerusalem-based scholar and writer who is a contributing editor at the Forward and has been affiliated in the past with the conservative-leaning Shalem Center.

“David is brilliant guy and very talented, so naturally we are thrilled that … he will be doing some work with us,” said Block, TIP’s president and CEO. On Elsner’s departure Block said: “of course we wish Alan well.”


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: the israel project, laura kam, josh block, j street, david hazony, alan elsner

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.