Q&A With Hollywood Star Noa Tishby: Catch Her in Austin on December 15 | Shalom Austin

Q&A With Hollywood Star Noa Tishby: Catch Her in Austin on December 15

Community Events, The Jewish Outlook

Aug 26, 2022

Noa Tishby. Credit: Alon Shafransky. 

By Mara Fahl 

On Thursday, December 15, 2022, at 8:00 a.m., Hollywood actress and Special Envoy for Combating Antisemitism & the De-legitimization of Israel, Noa Tishby, will headline Jewish National Fund-USA’s Breakfast for Israel, taking place at the Shalom Austin J. 

The acclaimed actress, producer, activist, and author of the popular book, “Israel, A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth,” will discuss how to speak about Israel in today’s climate and the importance of building the next generation of Israel’s supporters, as well as her journey to Hollywood stardom. 

Tishby co-produced HBO’s 12-time Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated, and Peabody Award-winning drama, “In Treatment,” which made history as the first Israeli television show to become an American series. She also founded “Act for Israel,” Israel’s first online advocacy organization, and was recognized as one of the 50 Most Influential Jews in the World. 

“We are thrilled to have a speaker of Noa’s acclaim joining us in Austin for our 11th Breakfast for Israel,” said Brad Greenblum, President of the JNF-USA Austin Board of Directors. “In a time when it is critical that we educate our children about the challenges Israel faces, Ms. Tishby’s knowledge will empower us to have conversations about our homeland with the next generation of Zionists.” 

Tishby recently spoke with the Managing Editor of Jewish National Fund-USA’s B’Yachad magazine. The following Q&A interview has been edited and condensed for brevity. 

Q: What was the catalyst for you to become an advocate and educator? 

A: I started becoming an advocate for Israel because I just couldn’t sit still based on what I was hearing. People had severe misunderstandings about Israel, they knew nothing about it and yet had very strong opinions. At first, it started out as this thing I would do at dinner parties, explaining to people, talking about it, drawing little maps on napkins. I went professional and took it to the next level in 2011 when I founded the first online advocacy rapid response organization dedicated to refuting lies about Israel. 

Q: What do you see as the future of Israel education and advocacy? 

A: We are experiencing a complete breakdown in Jewish education when it comes to Israel. We are doing an incredible job of giving a beautiful Jewish education when it comes to values and traditions, but we fail when it comes to talking about Israel and its thorny issues. We look at claims against Israel, such as that Israel is an “apartheid” state, as fake news, and rightly so! But then we don’t discuss these claims with our children. This is a big mistake because they end up completely unprepared when they get to college. The fact that we don’t address it head-on means we let the other side get to them first. Unfortunately, what happens is they are vulnerable, they get exposed to these lies, and sometimes we lose them forever because they think we lied to them. This needs to be addressed in every primary school, high school, and certainly before college. We need to directly address the lies, fake concepts, and words they may face before hearing it from someone else. 

Q: When you speak to students and young adults, what is the biggest message you try to convey? 

A: The biggest takeaway that I have for young Jewish adults and for Jews, in general, is that wherever they live, their sense of freedom and their ability to do whatever they want is directly connected to the fact that there is a Jewish state and a Jewish military. You cannot separate these two things. Much of the younger generation fails to make the connection between themselves and Israel. They don’t understand that the Jewish experience of the last 70 or so years is profoundly different — for the better — because of Israel’s existence. Making that connection for the younger generation is important for the continuation of the Jewish story, not just for the state of Israel. 

Q: Do you have any advice for educators and parents on how to help kids and teens understand the importance of Israel today? 

A: Number one is to be honest. Discussing problematic issues is going to add a layer of authenticity. We don’t need to re-justify the existence of a Jewish State in the land of Israel; it’s based on indigeneity, on history, on archaeology, on religion, on science, etc. We don’t need to hide anything to have a conversation. If you explain to the younger generation the entirety of the picture, that Israel is a very small piece of land, has been disputed forever, and that these things have happened and that the Jews deserve self-determination and self-governance in their ancestral land — they will get it. If, however, you sell Israel as the most perfect place in the world with no problems, one day they will wake up and realize that just isn’t true, not because of something specific to Israel but because every state and every country has issues. Israel has issues and controversial elements just like the United States, or France, or Canada, or any other country. What’s awarded to Israel is the questionable honor of doubting its right to exist. Nobody talks about dismantling other places, but they do talk about dismantling Israel. 

Q: What is something that gives you hope? 

A: I’m very optimistic! Life has ups and downs and that’s true for the Jewish story too. We’ve been through challenges before and we have survived all of them. No matter what, we will survive this and it’s a matter of pushing on and moving the ball forward. 

Jewish National Fund-USA’s major donors in Austin will also be treated to an intimate Q&A with Tishby at a VIP reception the evening prior to the Breakfast. For more information, contact Chayla Furlong, JNF-USA Director, Central Texas at (512) 410-1438 x948 or CFurlong@jnf.org. 

To reserve a spot for the event, contact RSVPAustin@jnf.org. 

To learn more about Noa, visit noatishby.com/bio. 

Noa Tishby. Credit: Alon Shafransky. 

By Mara Fahl 

On Thursday, December 15, 2022, at 8:00 a.m., Hollywood actress and Special Envoy for Combating Antisemitism & the De-legitimization of Israel, Noa Tishby, will headline Jewish National Fund-USA’s Breakfast for Israel, taking place at the Shalom Austin J. 

The acclaimed actress, producer, activist, and author of the popular book, “Israel, A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth,” will discuss how to speak about Israel in today’s climate and the importance of building the next generation of Israel’s supporters, as well as her journey to Hollywood stardom. 

Tishby co-produced HBO’s 12-time Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated, and Peabody Award-winning drama, “In Treatment,” which made history as the first Israeli television show to become an American series. She also founded “Act for Israel,” Israel’s first online advocacy organization, and was recognized as one of the 50 Most Influential Jews in the World. 

“We are thrilled to have a speaker of Noa’s acclaim joining us in Austin for our 11th Breakfast for Israel,” said Brad Greenblum, President of the JNF-USA Austin Board of Directors. “In a time when it is critical that we educate our children about the challenges Israel faces, Ms. Tishby’s knowledge will empower us to have conversations about our homeland with the next generation of Zionists.” 

Tishby recently spoke with the Managing Editor of Jewish National Fund-USA’s B’Yachad magazine. The following Q&A interview has been edited and condensed for brevity. 

Q: What was the catalyst for you to become an advocate and educator? 

A: I started becoming an advocate for Israel because I just couldn’t sit still based on what I was hearing. People had severe misunderstandings about Israel, they knew nothing about it and yet had very strong opinions. At first, it started out as this thing I would do at dinner parties, explaining to people, talking about it, drawing little maps on napkins. I went professional and took it to the next level in 2011 when I founded the first online advocacy rapid response organization dedicated to refuting lies about Israel. 

Q: What do you see as the future of Israel education and advocacy? 

A: We are experiencing a complete breakdown in Jewish education when it comes to Israel. We are doing an incredible job of giving a beautiful Jewish education when it comes to values and traditions, but we fail when it comes to talking about Israel and its thorny issues. We look at claims against Israel, such as that Israel is an “apartheid” state, as fake news, and rightly so! But then we don’t discuss these claims with our children. This is a big mistake because they end up completely unprepared when they get to college. The fact that we don’t address it head-on means we let the other side get to them first. Unfortunately, what happens is they are vulnerable, they get exposed to these lies, and sometimes we lose them forever because they think we lied to them. This needs to be addressed in every primary school, high school, and certainly before college. We need to directly address the lies, fake concepts, and words they may face before hearing it from someone else. 

Q: When you speak to students and young adults, what is the biggest message you try to convey? 

A: The biggest takeaway that I have for young Jewish adults and for Jews, in general, is that wherever they live, their sense of freedom and their ability to do whatever they want is directly connected to the fact that there is a Jewish state and a Jewish military. You cannot separate these two things. Much of the younger generation fails to make the connection between themselves and Israel. They don’t understand that the Jewish experience of the last 70 or so years is profoundly different — for the better — because of Israel’s existence. Making that connection for the younger generation is important for the continuation of the Jewish story, not just for the state of Israel. 

Q: Do you have any advice for educators and parents on how to help kids and teens understand the importance of Israel today? 

A: Number one is to be honest. Discussing problematic issues is going to add a layer of authenticity. We don’t need to re-justify the existence of a Jewish State in the land of Israel; it’s based on indigeneity, on history, on archaeology, on religion, on science, etc. We don’t need to hide anything to have a conversation. If you explain to the younger generation the entirety of the picture, that Israel is a very small piece of land, has been disputed forever, and that these things have happened and that the Jews deserve self-determination and self-governance in their ancestral land — they will get it. If, however, you sell Israel as the most perfect place in the world with no problems, one day they will wake up and realize that just isn’t true, not because of something specific to Israel but because every state and every country has issues. Israel has issues and controversial elements just like the United States, or France, or Canada, or any other country. What’s awarded to Israel is the questionable honor of doubting its right to exist. Nobody talks about dismantling other places, but they do talk about dismantling Israel. 

Q: What is something that gives you hope? 

A: I’m very optimistic! Life has ups and downs and that’s true for the Jewish story too. We’ve been through challenges before and we have survived all of them. No matter what, we will survive this and it’s a matter of pushing on and moving the ball forward. 

Jewish National Fund-USA’s major donors in Austin will also be treated to an intimate Q&A with Tishby at a VIP reception the evening prior to the Breakfast. For more information, contact Chayla Furlong, JNF-USA Director, Central Texas at (512) 410-1438 x948 or CFurlong@jnf.org. 

To reserve a spot for the event, contact RSVPAustin@jnf.org. 

To learn more about Noa, visit noatishby.com/bio. 

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