Who We Are

AACI Cares

AACI provides a wide range of services and programs to meet the needs of its membership whether new immigrants or English-speaking long-time residents:

  • Professional counseling on Aliyah and Klitah (absorption)
  • Employment Resource Center
  • Emergency, mortgage and small business loans
  • Support groups
  • Advice Sessions: tax, banking, translation and more
  • Legal consultations
  • Blood bank privileges
  • The AACI Cohen Library for the Visually Impaired
  • Senior Outreach

AACI Acts

AACI can move mountains when its members' welfare is at stake. AACI:

  • Lobbied successfully to modify the effect of new Israeli tax laws on immigrants;
  • Produced and distributed a free Emergency Handbook and held gas mask demonstrations prior to and during the Gulf War;
  • Confronted the social, economic and psychological pressures affecting its membership through the Seniors Outreach Project.

AACI Builds Community

AACI offers a warm and welcoming environment, with special programs targeting families, young adults, mid-lifers and seniors. Members participate in:

  • Welcome Home events for new olim (immigrants)
  • Home Hospitality
  • 4th of July/Canada Day & Thanksgiving Celebrations
  • AACI Travel Experience & Study Vacations
  • Social and Cultural Programs,
  • Lectures and more

AACI, a voluntary, non-profit organization, was established in 1951 to help North American immigrants acclimate to Israeli society and to build strong ties between North American Jewish communities and Israel. AACI’s services are available to all English speakers. AACI is governed by a lay board and administered by a professional staff. Its many activities are financed through the support of foundations, annual membership dues, an annual fundraising drive and private donations.

President's Message
 
 
Over 61 years ago, a handful of recent olim from the U.S. and Canada had a vision to create an organization dedicated to helping other North Americans adjust to their new lives in Israel. These pioneers felt that if Americans and Canadians could get a secure foothold in Israel, they would surely become an integral part of the larger society. They had the will, the desire, and the determination to bring the best of North American values to a struggling new nation.
 
Ever since that time, AACI volunteers continue to help new Olim as well as advocate on behalf of the English-speaking community to improve the lives of all Israeli citizens. These volunteers have made important changes in all our lives. At times, their critical role has brought us prominence in the media, but more often their work is done behind the scenes. 
 
Whether it was leading the campaign for healthcare and taxation reform, or providing free tutoring to Russian olim who needed a functioning knowledge of English – AACI volunteers saw a need and responded. And they are still responding - greeting new olim at the airport - working in our Membership Department - assisting in our Libraries - answering the phones - working the front desk - helping with our social advocacy initiatives - serving on our Branch Councils or National Board of Directors - or any of AACI’s many other volunteer activities – these caring individuals are proud to be AACI volunteers. Their hard work helps AACI address the issues that impact the lives of our members and the overall quality of life in Israel. 
 
It is with a deep sense of admiration, and heartfelt thanks, that I applaud all of them. Each one makes a difference to someone. I receive numerous emails and letters telling me about those occasions when a simple smile at the front desk, or a warm greeting over the phone, has made a meaningful difference in someone’s day.  None of this would be possible without the tireless efforts of our AACI volunteers.
 
If you’re not already among the ranks of our volunteers, I urge you to consider giving as little as one hour a week to help AACI continue in its vital role as the preeminent voice of Israel’s English-speaking community. To volunteer, contact AACI at frontdesk@aaci.org.il
 
 
Asa Cohen

 

AACI Board

Suzanne Cohen - Secretary

When Suzanne Cohen and her husband, Asa, had the opportunity to take early retirement in 2005, they jumped at it. They decided to make a new phase in their lives and move near their son and daughter-in-law in Jerusalem.

Suzanne and Asa love to travel, and AACI gave them the opportunity to learn about this wonderful country through its tours and also learn about overseas heritage through its cruises. It was on such a cruise that David London asked Suzanne and Asa to become involved in AACI.

When not volunteering at AACI, or the Reform Congregation Kehilat Har-El, or babysitting their granddaughter, Suzanne can be found following lots of other interests: being part of an Anglo Book Club, learning new crafts and writing to family and many friends in Israel and in the US via the internet.

Asa Cohen  - National President

Asa made aliyah in the summer of 2005 together with his wife Suzanne. He is a retired executive from JP Morgan Chase where he held various management positions including product development, marketing and sales, wealth management, and branch administration. He was active in his local synagogue in Monroe NY both as a member of the Board of Trustees, and a teacher in its religious school.

AACI was his primary source for pre-aliyah information and as a result of that relationship he became an Overseas Friend of AACI prior to the move.

As a trustee for AACI, Asa has worked on many projects such as site location and renovation for the new Jerusalem HQ. He also was the liaison to the various businesses in the building before and during construction. Based on his financial expertise, Asa was made the chairman of the Jerusalem Scholarship Fund and the AACI Endowment Fund. As of April 2010, he became the National President.

Judy Ann Cohen - Personnel

Judy moved to Jerusalem in 1975 after a four and a half year precedent-setting tenure at Kibbutz Kfar Etzion as the first single woman to be accepted as a member of the kibbutz. In Jerusalem, this fifth-generation American from Davenport, Iowa, has been employed in office management and administration by a variety of organizations, including AACI. Judy has been an active volunteer on various administrative projects; for fourteen years she chaired the Annual Memorial Ceremony with Rabbi Jay Karzen and has coordinated the Opera program for several years. .

 
Don Edelstein

Don Edelstein, made Aliyah in 1972 and has been active in AACI since then. Don specialized in cross-cultural education in the US and here in Israel worked at the School for Overseas Students at the Hebrew University and later developed the first membership data base for AACI. Don has served as National Vice-Chairman, Treasurer of both Jerusalem and National AACI, and has been involved in a number of other regional and national committees and projects including chairing the Jerusalem Region's fundraising campaign. 

Barbara Gold - AACI Travel Experience
 
Barbara Gold grew up in Florida and Texas. She graduated from the University of Houston School of Pharmacy, and worked as a retail pharmacist and as a drug company representative in Houston, Texas. After deciding to pursue an advanced degree to become a Clinical Pharmacist, Barbara received her Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of Florida. She was involved in a variety of community and synagogue activities in Houston. She created the Aerobic Dance program for the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. In 2002, Barbara and Danny Gold made aliya.  A lover of Israeli folk dancing, and a member of a dance-performing group in Houston, she continues to dance here in Israel with several performing groups from Netanya and Pardes Hannah.  Barbara uses her pharmaceutical background and training in her volunteer work as a coordinator for clinical research studies in the Ophthalmology Department at Ichilov Hospital.  Regular Bridge sessions and attendance at several different lecture series on Jewish Studies are among the many activities filling up her busy life in retirement.   With 5 children and 5 grandchildren living in several states in the U.S., travel figures prominently in the Golds’ activities. Having seen and benefited from the wonderful work that AACI does, Barbara decided to become a member and then to join the National Board of AACI.

Daniel Gold
 
Daniel Gold made aliyah from Houston Texas in 2002 with his wife Barbara. Born and raised in the Bronx in New York City, he went to the University of Michigan for his college and medical studies. He completed his ophthalmology training at New York University, a retinal fellowship at Montefiore Hospital/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and his Army service at Walter Reed Hospital in Washing D.C. After several years as Chief of the Retinal Service at Montefiore/Einstein, he moved to Texas where he combined a community-based practice with academic activities including teaching, writing, and editing. In Texas, he was involved with and played leadership roles in a number of medical organizations as well as his Houston synagogue. Happily retired in Israel, he continues his love of teaching young doctors in the Department of Ophthalmology of Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. Enjoying his retirement in Israel, he participates in Israeli folk dancing, bridge lessons, evening Talmud and other Jewish Studies classes and traveling within and outside Israel whenever possible. His aliyah experience and the role that AACI played in helping him learn about this country led him first to join and then to volunteer to help this wonderful organization with its public relations activities.
 

Diane Greenberg - VP Aliyah & Klitah
 
Diane was born and grew up in London, England. After graduating from London University with a degree in Chemistry she joined the Lister Institute for Preventive Medicine, where she carried out biochemical research for a few years. She made aliyah in May 1967, and her presence in Jerusalem during the Six Day War cemented her feelings that she had arrived ‘home’. A few months later she met Paul, also originally from London, and they were married in 1968.
 
In Israel she has held several positions in scientific editing, and headed the publication department in the Brookdale Institute for several years. She started working in the Public Relations Department of the Hebrew University in 1991 and became head of the section responsible for reporting to donors in 1998. On retiring in 2007, she became involved in AACI as a volunteer at the Front Desk.
 

Evelyn Grossberg

Evelyn was born and grew up in Sea Gate, Brooklyn, New York, and is a graduate of Lincoln High School and Brooklyn College. After earning a degree in Physics, she started working at Plenum Press, a sci/tech house in New York, and was the associate managing editor of the company when she left to make aliyah in 1978. Between two six-year periods at Plenum she spent five years as a senior instructor and the manager of the Claremont Riding Academy at Central Park. After coming to Israel she studied in Ulpan for six months and then spent 19 years with the Public Relations department of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, first as the editor of Scopus Magazine and then as the director of the section responsible for publishing brochures, preparing grant proposals, and reporting to donors. 


Donna Grushka - Memorial Committee Chairperson

 
Donna Grushka made aliyah in 1978 with her husband Eli, a native Israeli. They have three daughters and three grandchildren.  Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Donna attended Cornell University from which she has BS and MS degrees. 
 
Donna worked for AACI from 1983 until 1997, first as a counselor and then as Assistant Director of the Jerusalem Branch. In 1996-1997 she was Acting Director of AACI Jerusalem. She subsequently worked for Israel Birthright ("Taglit"), for Hadassah-Israel, and for the Israel Government Coins & Medals Corp.  She has also been a partner in a small business in the field of senior services. 
 
Donna is currently co-chairperson of Jerusalem Branch of AACI. She has served as Vice Chairperson of AACI Jerusalem for both Programming and for Development, has been a member of the National Memorial Committee which she has co-chaired for a number of years, and serves on both the National Board and the Jerusalem Council.  She was involved in planning the opening events for the AACI-Glassman Family Center in 2010 and currently is Chairperson of the Art Shows Committee.

Julian (Julie) Landau - Treasurer

Julian (Julie) Landau made aliya in July 1969 from Washington DC where he worked for AIPAC. As part of his work in Israel as a writer, editor and print production supervisor, he helped write, design, page and print the AACI Voice for a number of years. Following his retirement in 1995, Julie became an active volunteer at AACI as a member of the Memorial Committee, the National Board and now as Vice President of the Development Committee. He is married to Sara and has four sons and one daughter who live in various parts of the country along with his twenty grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.

Dovid Lew---Kibbutz Gal On

Dovid Lew was born in Chicago in 1930. In his synagogue he joined a Zionist youth group, (Hashomer Hatzair) at age of 11. At the age of 24 Dovid made aliya with his "garin" to Kibbutz Gal On, in the northern Negev.

Dovid "made aliya", with his wife Nina, in 1954. He has remained on Kibbuttz Gal On, since then.

Dovid completed his studies at the University of Chicago gaining a B.A. and then studied at education and archaeology at Tel Aviv University.

At Kibbutz Gal On Dovid worked six years in dairy barn, twenty years as high school English teacher and spent summers on more than thirty archaeological sites. Dovid is currently active in several re-cycling projects.

David has been involved with the AACI for over thirty-give years and has been a Kibbutz Section and Southern Region representative for the last 10 years or so. As a pensioner, he has found it rewarding in beefing up A.A.C.I. klita activities and facilitating recycling efforts in his own kibbutz and the South. Each year he personally, adds some 38,000 bottles, cans etc. and over one a half tons of waste -paper, and a like amount of cartons to recycling containers. Like A.A.C.I. he likes to say, "We try to make a difference."

Debby Millgram  - Past President

Debby Millgram is a native New Yorker, a proud graduate of Hunter College High School and CCNY. Later she did a degree in counseling at the University of Michigan. She made aliyah with her family in 1971 and served as a Guidance Counselor for the Ministry of Education for thirty years. Over the years she volunteered for AACI lecturing olim on the education system and helping new arrivals sort out the education system. She served in various capacities on the Jerusalem board. Debby is Past National President, proud of AACI and its accomplishments and looking forward to its future successes. 

Matt (Matthew) Schein

Matt made aliyah in 1998 with his wife Shirley. They have 2 married children and 10 grandchildren living in Israel. Matt retired from the IBM Corporation as a Senior Software Technology executive.

Shortly after arriving in Israel, Matt was asked to review and propose improvements to AACI’s computer systems. In doing so, he became aware of the many beneficial activities and programs provided by AACI. The work led to ideas for integrating AACI operations and the instillation of a single database to unify AACI’s various files into a single modern database system. Matt was asked to join the AACI board, and became VP of Operations.

In that role, Matt led the establishment of the AACI Small Business Loan Program, and became the chair of the Real Estate and Shiputz Committee, responsible for selling AACI’s existing premises, and leading the purchase and shiputz of AACI’s new home.

He is currently the Treasurer of AACI. 
 

Sarah B. Weinstein

Sarah Weinstein made aliyah on June 21 2001. She is the owner of 4U GIFTS at 41 Hebron Road. Sarah has a B.S. degree from the University of Illinois Champaign Illinois.

Sarah is a past board member of NY United Jewish Appeal and Legacy committees, founding board member of the JCC on the upper west side and NY rep of the young leadership cabinet and a Wexner Fellow Graduate. Sarah has been involved in past national missions, chaired UJIA summer singles missions and was past mission chair of the NY Big Apple mission.
 
 
    
AACI Coping Workshops:
"Developing Reslience"
 
Ingathering: Art Exhibit
Nov 17 - Dec 31, 2014
details
 
AACI 55+/ - Activities for Singles & Couples
 
AACI Thanksgiving Luncheon
November 26, 12:30-15:00
 
AACI Travel Program 2015    
 
 
 
 
 
 
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