Exciting Changes at the New Israel Fund of Canada

Fifteen years ago, I first heard about the New Israel Fund of Canada. I was immediately drawn to its commitment to bettering Israeli society, and I’ve been a supporter and a volunteer ever since.

I’ve been inspired as NIFC has grown in Canada. Every year, we’ve raised more and more funds for social change in Israel, expanded our staff, and broken barriers on important issues. And we have reached so many passionate supporters of Israel.

We boldly raised important issues, including shared society, racism, and refugees. We raised awareness about women’s equality, pluralism, Bedouin society, and so much more. We featured memorable and challenging speakers, including David Grossman, Peter Beinart, Ron Gerlitz, Ali Hadar, and Naomi Chazan. We shared difficult conversations. All of these activities created engagement with and support for our vision of a better Israel. And these issues are even more pressing today.

What does the future hold for this vital organization? What does the future hold for Israel?

I’m pleased to announce—the future is bright for NIFC. 

This month, New Israel Fund of Canada is undergoing two exciting leadership changes. Two youthful, energetic faces are taking the lead.

As of November, NIFC has hired Ben Murane as Executive Director. Ben brings with him nine years of experience with NIF’s U.S. branch, as well as twelve years of leadership on some of the most innovative projects at the intersection of Israel and social justice.

And later this month, I will hand the baton to Amy Block as President. Amy is an accomplished lawyer, a mother of two young children, and a deeply passionate leader for social justice in Israel.

This is a moment of energy for NIFC. Both of our top leaders are under 45. They represent the passion of the next generation of Jewish leaders in Canada and their commitment to Israel. And Ben and Amy’s involvement demonstrates the optimism and commitment to making a better Israel on which the future of NIFC relies.

I want to whole-heartedly thank our former staff, Orit Sarfaty and Atarah Derrick, whose tireless efforts brought you top-tier programming and expanded our reach across the country. We wouldn’t be here without their dedication and passion.

I am honoured to have served as President of NIFC. I’m so excited about our future, and I hope you are too.

With shared hopes for a bright tomorrow,

Joan Garson
Outgoing President
New Israel Fund of Canada


Ben Murane is the Executive Director of the New Israel Fund of Canada and a leading voice of millennial engagement with Israel. For over twelve years, Ben has led at the intersection of Jewish life, social justice, and Israel. He previously worked for NIF’s U.S. branch, won Jewish innovation awards for his work in environmentalism and campus life, and founded both online and offline Jewish communities. In 2012, he received the prestigious Dorot Leadership Fellowship in Israel, where he studied Zionism and worked at a political think tank. In December this year, he will become a father.

Amy Block is the incoming President of the New Israel Fund of Canada, a practicing lawyer, and Senior Legal Counsel for a regulated health professional body. Her history with NIFC dates back to 1999 when, as a law school graduate and recipient of the Dorot Fellowship in Israel, she conducted legal research for the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, the country’s oldest and largest civil and human rights group and a flagship grantee of the New Israel Fund. She is the mother of two active boys.

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