In the crowded field of Israel advocacy, Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, founder and president of The Israel Project, stands out, and not just because she is one of the few women leaders doing this kind of work. In the nearly 10 years since she founded TIP, the organization has grown from a Washington-based start-up to a global enterprise with 70 employees and an $11 million annual budget. This year, at a time when other Jewish organizations are contracting, TIP opened bureaus in India and China and launched a website in Arabic that attracted 25 million page views in its first six months.
Mizrahi, 47, a fast-talking former communications specialist who favors lots of exclamation points in her frequent e-mails, can sometimes sound like an alarmist on all things Israel. But her innovative approach to advocacy — bringing foreign diplomats to Israel, working on the ground in Asia and Latin America, reaching out to new audiences in their languages — is clearly filling an important niche. How many pro-Israel organizations have an Arabic website with 190,000 Facebook fans?
“We’re changing the paradigm,” she says. “It used to be that if you were pro-Israel, you were anti-Palestinian. We are pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian. It’s not a zero sum game.”