Getting to Know Heart of a Nation

  1. What are Heart of a Nation’s goals? Our goal is to bring together progressives of all faiths and backgrounds to form a sustainable Community of Purpose that is committed to advancing solutions to the greatest challenges facing their societies. We intend to do that by providing progressive allies with affinity-building forums; building a new multi-media platform for the distribution of original content and the sharing of content to other platforms; showcasing efforts and accomplishments of allies; matching new projects and initiatives with committed funders; and promote political and policy champions.
  2. Who is Heart of a Nation’s intended audience? Our audience includes a wide array of thought-leaders, including elected officials, constituent activists, foundation heads and media personalities. We have already engaged several dozen prominent Progressives profiled on our Website — — who in the next few months will be helping us expand our Community to include hundreds more who will receive and share our content, be invited to participate in our online forums, and draw in others from their Progressive networks.
  3. What kind of programming does Heart of a Nation intend to do? We will identify and bring together those who want to engage in collaborative, constructive efforts to make positive change in their societies, host briefings on issues of concern, publish an online journal, launch our own podcast, and eventually convene in-person forums and arrange home hospitality trips overseas. Everything we do — from the distribution of co-authored journal articles, to the creative pairings of thought-leaders and activists for presentations on different platforms — is intended to provide inspiration and motivation for Progressives who want to better the nations they love.
  4. Does Heart of a Nation intend to take a stand on political issues? As a 501c3, we will neither lobby nor make campaign contributions. Rather, we will amplify thought-leadership and facilitate collaborative efforts on significant issues of concern to progressives: the quest for social and economic justice, gender and racial equality, catastrophic climate change, police practices and criminal justice reform, the treatment of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, reducing conflict, discrimination and oppression within and between nations, and the vigorous pursuit of peace.
  5. Who are Heart of a Nation’s natural allies? Progressives on both sides of the ocean who recognize that the nations they love are works in progress whose best aspirations deserve to be celebrated and worst shortcomings need to be addressed.
  6. How is Heart of a Nation different from J Street or even a group like IfNotNow? Heart of a Nation represents an entirely new paradigm and platform. We recognize that Progressives in all three societies — American, Israeli and Palestinian — have solutions to offer one another. We will encourage and create opportunities for these Progressives to help one another make positive change.
  7. AIPAC has invested in progressive outreach; what makes Heart of a Nation different? We have created a platform for progressives in the US, Israel and Palestine to develop and promote solutions to problems they all face.
  8. Your founder worked at AIPAC for decades. Some will see Heart of a Nation as an outgrowth of AIPAC, or an AIPAC-aligned group; what do you say to that? Throughout my career, I’ve worked with progressive activists and strengthened inter-communal alliances. In addition to my work at AIPAC, I’ve served as executive director of the Center for Middle East Peace, executive editor of Middle East Insight magazine, and been on the Executive Board of Seeds of Peace. Heart of a Nation is a completely independent organization that receives no direction or resources from any other organization. Our committee members are leaders of Emerge, Mekudeshet, New Story Leadership for the Middle East, NCJW, Givat Haviva, Encounter, CLAL, Hashomer Hatzair, Consortium for Israel and the Asylum Seekers, MEJDI Tours, Shalom Hartman Institute, Have You Seen the Horizon Lately, JDCA, and Re: IL.
  9. How did you decide who to tap for your Advisory, Editorial and Engagement Committees? Do the 36 committee members play a substantial role? They certainly do! Committee members are literally the heart of Heart of a Nation. They include Americans, Israelis and Palestinians; Democratic Party activists, heads of prominent national organizations, and several influential leaders who have never before attached their names to a new enterprise. Committee members are selecting and sequencing the issues we will focus on, identifying and engaging thought-leaders and co-authors, and recommending appropriate platforms for the distribution of our unique content.
  10. Who are Heart of a Nation’s donors? In our first month, we have received tens of thousands of dollars in individual donations from Jews, Muslims and Christians and have applied for grants from a number of foundations who support innovative new enterprises.

A’shanti Gholar, Co-Chair

Brian Jaffee, Co-Chair

Karen Brunwasser, Co-Chair

The goal of Heart of a Nation is to bring together progressives of all faiths and backgrounds to form an intentional Community of Purpose that is committed to the ambitious task of bettering Israel, Palestine and America. Engage us at

Visit our website to learn more:

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store