We must work together to ensure our security

Our Common Destiny Project: Ensuring the well being & security of Israel and Jews worldwide

President Reuven Rivlin surrounded by the signatories who convened at the President's Residence on Sunday, to sign an anti-racism pact initiated by Israelis Against Racism, February 2, 2020 (photo credit: MARK NEYMAN/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin surrounded by the signatories who convened at the President's Residence on Sunday, to sign an anti-racism pact initiated by Israelis Against Racism, February 2, 2020
(photo credit: MARK NEYMAN/GPO)
For the past 35 years I have  devoted my professional life to ensuring the well-being of Israel and the almost half a million members of the Jewish communities of Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula. I've been instrumental in helping build with them domestic, hemsipheric, global and transnational bridges based on common histories, values and interests. 
Born and raised in the small, albeit highly empowered Mexican Jewish community, allowed me to experience what truly being a minority in every sense feels like and to grasp why – as our Jewish history teaches us – numbers are irrelevant when there is a solid sense of connectedness and vast resourcefulness. It also made me aware early on that it is a survival imperative to remain engaged with a global Jewish network that is ready and able to support the community's welfare and security.
During my 15 years as director of Mexican Jewry's public affairs organization, we deeply valued our partnership with global Jewish organizations, which we deemed essential to overcoming some critical episodes or to helping reinforce the community's public profile. And supporting Israel at critical junctures, articulating an accurate narrative of its struggle to survive in a hostile environment, and celebrating its exceptional accomplishments, became a central focus of our community's identity.

Since immigrating to the US in 1996, I am an active member of the largest and most empowered Jewish community in the Diaspora as well as a professional for a global Jewish advocacy organization. In this role, I've had the privilege of working side by side with Jewish communities ranging from Argentina's – the sixth largest in the world – to El Salvador's, with no more than 500 members. We continue to join them as they confront instances of antisemitism, raise their voices against terrorism, and advocate on behalf of Israel. 
Dina Siegel Vann, Director of AJC's Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs (Photo: AJC)Dina Siegel Vann, Director of AJC's Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs (Photo: AJC)
What is common to all these communities, including  my native one, is their steadfast and passionate commitment to keeping the Jewish collective memory alive, to continue contributing to the richness and diversity of our millenary history, to developing novel, hyphenated identities while becoming valued sectors of their own societies and strengthening democratic values. Promoting Israel's positive relations and profile in the global arena, looms large as one of the top markers of identity for all these communities.
For the past 35 years, I have been privileged to have had a first row seat witnessing – time and time again – how putting in practice the concept of Kol HaYehudim Arevim Ze la Ze, has been and continues to be central to our future as a people. This profound sense of solidarity has allowed us to pull together in the worst of times, to celebrate in the best, and will  remain a constant  as we define the contours of what is to hopefully bea bright Jewish future.
Dina Siegel Vann is the Director of AJC's Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs