Sunday, March 10th - 7:00pm 


Temple Beth Sholom - Cherry Hill, NJ

VIP and Sponsor reception beginning at 5:30pm 


The Middle East Institute is a JCRC of SNJ annual event designed to educate the community and foster understanding about current topics relevant to Israel and the Middle East through experts with varying perspectives and backgrounds. It is the Jewish Community Relations Council annual showcase event and fundraiser which provides the necessary funding for our Israel Advocacy Initiative, Understanding Israel program, Teen Training programs and our Israel Educational Forum. 

MEI 2024 Keynote Speakers

Emily Austin is an American/Israeli TV personality from New York. She began interviewing NBA players and athletes at 18. Since then, she has interviewed hundreds of people from sports, entertainment, politics and more. She is the creator and host of the hit podcast, The Hoop Chat. She has amassed a social media following of over 1.5 million followers. She actively speaks out against antisemitism and is vocal about her support for Israel. She’s been featured on Fox News and Fox Business, JPost, I24, Newsmax and many more outlets. She also speaks to large groups and organizations such as JNF, IAC, WJC, ICC, Impact Forum and more, sharing her experiences on being Jewish in the entertainment world. In 2023, Emily and Noa Tishby were featured by the Jerusalem Post and the Ruderman Family Foundation as two key figures in combating antisemitism. Follow Emily on Instagram @emily.austin

Ryan Lavarnway is a former Major League Baseball catcher, currently working as a broadcaster for the Colorado Rockies. Over his fifteen-year career, Ryan represented eight different teams in the Major Leagues, including the 2013 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. He also proudly represented Israel internationally in both the World Baseball Classic and the Olympics, which earned him recognition in the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2019. Ryan began his journey to the majors as a standout at Yale University, setting many records and in 2008 he was drafted by the Boston Red Sox. After his big-league debut in 2011, Ryan continued to excel on the field, setting multiple MLB and franchise records. Internationally, he earned MVP recognition for his play in the World Baseball Classic and was named to be the first ever captain of Team Israel ahead of the 2023 European Championships. Follow Ryan on Instagram @rlavarnway

MEI 2024 Israel Advocacy Award Recipients

Alise and Ken Panitch, residents of Cherry Hill for the last 32 years, are passionate in their support of Israel, Jewish education, and many other Jewish causes. Ken is a dedicated and compassionate family physician at Advocare Grove Family Medical Associates. Ken’s second home is Congregation Sons of Israel, where he served on the board for decades, including as president, and chaired many construction projects which have transformed the facility. Alise is an employment attorney and after practicing for several years, she shifted her work primarily to business management at Advocare Grove. Alise has been on the Board of Politz Day School, having led capital campaigns and special projects; she is now completing her final term as Board Co-Chair and also serves on the Cherry Hill Planning Board, the NJ Israel Commission, and the board of Stand With Us. Since the war began, Alise and Ken have been deeply involved in projects for soldiers and securing provisions needed for displaced families. Having been in Israel on October 7th, they stayed on for 4 weeks after and returned again in January to continue their efforts. 

MEI 2024 Next Gen Israel Advocacy Award Recipient

Asher Boiskin attends Cherry Hill High School East as a senior and spent his spring semester of 10th grade studying in Israel as part of the Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim program. As a two-time delegate to the Jewish Youth Assembly of the World Jewish Congress, he engages in discussions on antisemitism and works to advance Jewish and Zionist causes. Asher works as a Madrich at Temple Beth Sholom and participates in the Cherry Hill East Jewish Student Union. Additionally, he works as a counselor at Camp Ramah in the Poconos and served as President of his BBYO Chapter, Chapel #245. Last year, Asher helped organize the "Hate Has No Place in our Community" campaign at his school, addressing antisemitism and Islamophobia, which garnered recognition in The New York Times. Beyond his dedication to Jewish and pro-Israel advocacy, Asher served as a U.S. Youth Ambassador to Brazil, holds the position of Editor-in-Chief at Eastside Online (Cherry Hill East's student newspaper), and serves as the Vice President of Cherry Hill East's Student Government Association.


Event Sponsorships


VIP tickets start at $180 and includes a ticket to our VIP/Sponsor reception at 5:30pm, including refreshments and a meet and greet with our keynote speakers, prior to the program!

Event sponsorships are available beginning at $500 and include increasing benefits and exposure for individuals and corporations.


Ad/Tribute Deadline Has Passed 

Ticket Pricing 


$36 - General Admission 

$25 Current Year JCRC Patrons and JCRC Life and Legacy Members 


No Charge - Students 

SPECIAL TEEN PROGRAM at 6PM with Stars of the Tribe sports trivia before MEI! Click here for more information and register as a student ticket below. Register by March 3rd!  

Not able to attend the Middle East Institute, but would like to make a contribution to honor Alise & Ken Panitch or Asher Boiskin?


(Select JCRC 55th Annual Middle East Institute in Designation drop down) 

Thank You to our Middle East Institute Sponsors

Middle East Institute Co-Chairs 

Bonnie Galam, Mark Kramer, & Benjamin Landsburg

Leader - $3600

Betsy & Peter Fischer 

Supporters - $500

Gail & Robert Belfer

Sherri & Alan Breslow

Stephanie & Chuck Cahn

Jillian & Brandon Cohen 

The Manny & Ruthy Cohen Foundation

Congregation Sons of Israel

Development Corporation For Israel/Israel Bonds

The Galam Firm

Nancy Gold & Arnon Garonzik

Michele & Curt Golkow, Golkow Business Law LLC

Karen & Marc Hess

Karen Kaplan

Rachel & Steven Klein

Susan & Evan Krisch

Robin Sue & Bill Landsburg

Patrick Lucas & Family

Dinie & Rabbi Mendy Mangel

Henry Maurer

Randee & Alan Moldoff

Jacquelyn & Charles Nusbaum

Marsha & Marvin Raab

Jamie & Jesse Richman 

Stacey & Ed Rivkin

Sharon & Jay Ruder

Sherman, Silverstein, Kohl, Rose & Podolsky, P.A.

Hyland Levin Shapiro LLP, Mark and Alison Shapiro

Sabrina & Aaron Spector 

Jen & Jim Weiss

Judy & Len Wizmur

Myrna Young

Sally & Andrew Zeiberg

Benefactors - $1800

Jeffrey S. Apell, Esquire, Immediate Past President, JCRC

Celestine & Jeffrey Berg

Helene & Alan Blumenfeld

Heather & Mark Kramer 

Judy Love 

Eric Meller/M. Rosenblatt Roofing 

Alise & Ken Panitch

Platt Memorial Chapels, Inc. 

The Friends of Israel 

VIP - $360/$180


Iris Auerbach, Jocelyn Auerbach Klein & Family

Gloria Back

Marcia Baruch

Richard Berman

Shani & Chaim Blumberg

The Boiskin Family

Chris Boyd

Eric & Amy Clayman

Mindy & Daniel Cohen

Mishel & Stephen Cohen

Gail Donner

Debbie & Brian Drachman

Rabbi Lewis Eron

Leonard Feldman

Debbie & Allen Fineberg

Howard Friedman, Seth Friedman & Family

Linda Friedman

Benjamin Folkman

Yaffa & Jack Fuchs

Herb Goldberg

Shari & Sid Goldberg

Lori & Rick Goldstein

Barbara Goodfriend

Daniel Gottlieb

Nicole & Michael Gray

The Greenberg Family

Michael Greenspun

Judy & Steve Herzberg

Diane & Eytan Irwin

Carolyn Jacobs

Barney Kaplan 

Danielle & Roi Kimchi

Helene & Rabbi Aaron Krupnick

Friends - $1000

Pamela & Robert Benedon 

Caryn & David Bross

Bross & Frankel, P.A. 

Congregation Beth El - Voorhees

Emily & Michael Landsburg

Fran & Leon L. Levy

Carol Lupo

Drs. Elyse & Andrew Mulberg

Allison & David Snyder 

Verna & Associates / Fran & Neal Cupersmith

VIP - $360/$180

Benjamin Landsburg

Rabbi Steven Lindemann

Steven Manders

Ann Miller

Suzie & Harvey Mindel

Carol Orwitz

Steve Osder

Marcy & Michael Partnow

The Panitch Family

Nancy Pearl

Mindy & Jonathan Roller

Erica & Jerry Rothkoff

Marlene & Ken Rubin 

Renee Rudolph & David Lieberman

Mindy & Michael Schorr

Sharon & Richard Schwab

Debbie & David Schwartz

Gregory Seltzer

Richard Selznick

Robin & Jeff Shacket

Joyce Shoff

Janine & Mark Sobel 

Randi & Craig Stoopler

Naomi & Dr. Michael Tillinger 

Nancy Weiner & Ted Bross

Ilana & Jeffrey Weiss

Jason Whitney 

Dina Wizmur

Liza & Danny Wolf

Young Israel of Cherry Hill 

The Young Family

Jeffrey Zeiger

Vicki & Brian Zell