— Ambassador Jacob Lew, Immediate Past President
“The National Library of Israel is a gem — a resource for people from the four corners of the world who are interested in the history of Israel and of Jewish communities everywhere. With digitization and our ability to connect virtually, I see the Library as a cultural and educational destination for all of us in America. The National Library of Israel is a repository of many treasures from the past, and it is a gathering place where people from diverse backgrounds will come together to better understand their own traditions and learn more about each other.”
About NLI USA
NLI USA Mission
NLI USA builds support in the United States for the National Library of Israel to enhance and expand the impact of the Library’s collections, cultural programs, and educational resources. This is done through increasing public awareness, broadening relevant partnerships, engaging in programming, and strengthening philanthropic support.
NLI USA Vision
The National Library of Israel has a meaningful impact on the cultural landscape of Jewish life in the United States.
NLI USA serves as a partner of the National Library of Israel. The following principles guide our work:
- The National Library of Israel is the Library of the Jewish people worldwide and all people who live in Israel.
- Digitization and technological advances afford new opportunities for the Library to expand its impact in the diaspora.
- The Library’s role in connecting people to people is as important as connecting people to its collections.
- The Library serves people of all faiths and ethnicities.
- The Library is committed to the democratization and accessibility of knowledge.
- The Library not only preserves the treasures of our history, but brings them to life in meaningful ways.
- The Library connects Jews and the broader community to Israel.
- The Library is dynamic as it both leads and responds to the community.
NLI USA Board of Directors
A diverse board of directors from the fields of diplomacy, medicine, public policy, academia, business, and philanthropy leads NLI USA. The board, in partnership with the staff, pursue the strategic vision of renewal of the Library.
— David Makovsky, President
“I serve as President of NLI USA because I believe that the Library’s renewal is going to change the way we learn and engage with Israel. This is one of the most important and exciting initiatives underway in Israel, and it will have far-reaching impact for all of us in the United States. I want more and more people to know about the Library, engage with it, and support its growth.”
NLI USA Executive Leadership Team
A small and dedicated team carries out NLI USA’s mission, working closely with the NLI USA board and with leaders and experts at NLI in Israel.
— Adina Kanefield
I am committed to building out the presence and impact of the National Library of Israel so that it becomes integral to our lives as Jews in the United States—and as People of the Book. The Library should be a go-to place for us all—a place to learn, to connect, to be inspired, to enjoy, and to invest. I am honored to lead NLI USA and to pursue the strategic vision of the Library as a pivotal destination in the landscape of our Jewish and cultural lives.
NLI USA History
NLI USA was founded in 2014 to help strengthen the renewal of the National Library of Israel. In its early years, led by founding board president Jay Pomrenze, NLI USA focused on building support for the Library and on setting up the solid foundational elements of a new non-profit. Jacob Fisch became the organization’s first employee and since that time has directed NLI’s renewal campaign. The founding board members represented a broad sector of community leadership, including business, non-profit, government, medical and academic arenas. Over time, the board membership grew and in 2019, Jack Lew and David Makovsky became board Co-Presidents. Shortly thereafter, NLI USA engaged Adina Kanefield to conduct a strategic plan for NLI USA. The planning process involved a wide range of stakeholders and culminated in a renewed vision for NLI USA driven by the goal of expanding the impact of the National Library of Israel in the United States Jewish and broader community. In 2021, Adina Kanefield became the first full time CEO hired to lead NLI USA.