More Effective Together- APN Guest Commentary by Nomi Colton-Max (April 22, 2024)


A proud Progressive Zionist, Nomi is the Executive Board Chair and Vice President of Ameinu. Nomi is also the current Vice President for Programming of the American Zionist Movement and is involved with Brit Eytz- the World Labour Zionist Union and the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations. Trained as a foreign policy analyst specializing in the Arab World and the Persian Gulf, Nomi speaks frequently on the subjects of current events in the Middle East and Israel and speaks Hebrew, Arabic, and French.  

These are difficult days. Yet this past week, I was thanked by various people. A town member thanked me for my help in explaining the complexities of the war, an Israeli told me that a speech inspired her, and a Jewish activist thanked me for speaking for her in Jewish and Zionist umbrella institutions. It has reenergized me.

As the Vice President of Ameinu, I am proud of the work we do every day, but there is so much more to be done. This is why I am so excited about the upcoming merger between our two organizations. I firmly believe that there has never been a more important time for Ameinu and APN to merge and become a stronger whole.

The trip I took to Israel and Palestine with APN last month served as proof positive of this. In early March, I concluded a month of Ameinu meetings and programs by joining a small group of APN leaders and activists to explore the current situation through the prism of APN’s education and advocacy work.

Learning and traveling together was a reminder of our shared values and our commitment to Israel and building a better future for Israelis and Palestinians.

Ameinu’s strong leadership in the Jewish communal world, combined with APN’s tireless voice on Capitol Hill and with the administration, will amplify our progressive voice in Washington and New York as well as around the country. Our synergy will strengthen our work in Israel and Palestine in the arduous journey ahead.

I am sure that you have read that many Jews in Israel and around the world have “sobered up” since October 7th, arguing that the parameters have changed and peace and justice will never be a reality. But I still share the vision that we at Ameinu and APN have long believed and that was espoused by many that we met on the APN trip throughout the country: you cannot occupy another people forever and expect a peaceful outcome. It won’t be easy, but I know that we will prove more effective together.

I almost forgot: in a meeting yesterday, someone said to me: I may not agree with you on everything, but I always learn something important from you on Israel and how other American Jews view things so differently from me.  I have even changed my opinion on a few things.

In closing, I want to share a poem by Israeli poet and writer Anda Amir Pinkerfeld that sums up the charged feelings of the moment:

Saving the Goat Kid 

You know what I shall do

This Seder night?

I will hide the Haggadah kid

The cat will not know at all

Where it is, and will not eat it;

It will come and say: the kid is not here!

The dog will not avenge it

Not the stick nor the burning fire

Not water nor even a goring ox.

For I will take the kid

I will hide it well

And no harm will ever happen again.


May all of us find new meaning and raise provoking questions at our Seder table and may light find a way to overcome this plague of darkness in the months ahead.


B’Shalom ve Chaverut (in Peace and friendship),

Nomi Colton-Max