Hand in Hand's New Executive Director Tours U.S. in May

Shalom "Shuli" Dichter made his first visit to the States and Canada as Hand in Hand's new executive director from May 16 to June 3. Dr. Thabet Abu-Ras, co-chair of Hand in Hand's board of directors in Israel and a lecturer at Ben-Gurion University, traveled with him.

The two made publicity and fundraising stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, New York, Baltimore, Chicago and Toronto. They met with supporters, both long-standing and new, to discuss Hand in Hand's latest accomplishments and plans, as well as the general state of Jewish-Arab coexistence.

"I was overwhelmed by the vast support that Hand in Hand enjoys in the U.S. coast to coast," Shuli said. "So many people not only know about Hand in Hand and are committed to it, but are well-informed and want to dialogue about relations between Jewish and Arab citizens."

During their visit, the American board of Hand in Hand convened for its annual meeting with Shuli and Thabet leading the discussion and planning.

A civil-society activist, Shuli served from 1998 to 2008 as co-executive director of Sikkuy: The Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality, a Jewish-Arab advocacy organization. He worked to advance Jewish-Arab equality by encouraging changes to government policy, promoting municipal cooperation, and mobilizing public opinion.

He lives in Kibbutz Ma'anit near the Kfar Kara school and is married to Avital, an art teacher. They have three children.

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