Israel's Democracy in the Headlines: Perceptions and Realities – A General Assembly Session

The General Assembly | Baltimore, MD Presented by The Inter-Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues and JFNA's Social Venture Fund for Jewish-Arab Equality and Shared Society.

Being a light unto the nations is not easy task. Israel faces unique challenges and opportunities with balancing its commitment to a unique Jewish heritage and universal democratic principles. Issues related to the protection of human/civil rights, Jewish-Arab relations, respect for minorities, women and religious pluralism have been headlining the news and impacting public discourse. This session will explore perceptions and realities of the current political and social landscape of Israel's top experts including surprising findings from IDI's public opinion research and implications of recent events and trends for shaping the democratic character of the State.


  • Terry M. Rubinstein – Executive Vice President of the Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds from 1998-2011. She is active on the boards of the Hazelden Foundation The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Endowment Trust, Repair the World, President of IEF, supplemental giving at UJC, and Matan in Israel. Terry earned a B.S. from Emerson College.  She received an honorary doctorate in Israel from Ben-Gurion University for her work in the Negev and an honorary doctorate from St. Mary's College of Maryland for her board work and for the creation of the Center for the Study of Democracy.


  • Dr Arye Carmon – President and Founder of the Israel Democracy Institute.  One of Israel's foremost experts on political reform, Dr Carmon received the Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement in 2009 on behalf of IDI.
  • Rabbi Professor Naftali Rothenberg – Senior Research Fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute is a laureate of the Liefhaber Prize for the encouragement of religious tolerance in Israel.
  • Dr. Dalia Fadila – Deputy President and former Dean of Students of Al-Qasemi Academy, an Arab college of Education in Israel. She is also a fellow member of the EU Visitors Program and IPPA - the Israeli Association for Organizational Development. Dalia is an expert in American literature, women's literature and ethnic studies. She has established a private school for teaching English called Q Schools – English Language and HR Development, which proposes a unique approach to learning English suited to Arab students.