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Indo-Jewish Coalition Takes Shape

March 2006
Indo-Jewish Coalition Takes Shape

There is a new organization that is taking shape in Atlanta's melting pot. And this one promises to be a unique partnership between two communities that have made the best of what America has to offer and retained the best of what their own respective cultures have to offer.

Ani Agnihotri and Cedric Suzman are looking for members to join Atlanta's newly formed Indo-Jewish Coalition, which had its first formal meeting in January. The group, which has been meeting informally for more than a year, will work to bridge the Indian and Jewish communities in Atlanta on business, cultural, educational and political affairs.

Agnihotri and Suzman, co-chairs of the new coalition, both spoke to GlobalAtlanta which first carried the announcement of the new organization. "There is a surprising connectedness between Jewish-Americans and Indian-Americans, as well as between Israel and India," Suzman was quoted as saying. Suzman, who is also vice president and director of programming at the Southern Center for International Studies and board member of the Atlanta chapter of the American Jewish Committee, cited the importance of education and family as shared cultural values between the two communities and added that both communities could work together on immigration and discrimination issues.

The organization is also hoping to be proactive about legal issues, already designating an advocacy committee for the group, Agnihotri, founding president of the five-year-old Georgia Indo-American Chamber of Commerce Inc, said. Agnihotri, who is also president and CEO of IIIrd Millennium Inc., a business process outsourcing firm for health care and information technology companies, visited Israel in November. The visit was organized by the American-Jewish Committee's Project Interchange, an educational program that began in 1982 to take American leaders to Israel. Twelve other Indian professionals in business, government and journalism from across America also were part of the entourage on the two-week tour of Israel, which included visits to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

In Israel, the group met Ben Gurion University President Avishay Braverman, former chief justice Gavriel Bach, representatives from Israel's biotech industry, and Palestinian academics and journalists.

Atlantans who visited Israel included Ritesh Desai, a member of Governor Sonny Perdue's Asian-American Commission for a New Georgia, and Kavita Chhibber, a freelance journalist based in Atlanta.

For more information about the new coalition, contact Ani Agnihotri at Ani@thirdm.biz, Cedric Suzman at cedric@scis.org, or Sherry Frank, executive director of the Atlanta chapter of the American Jewish Committee, at franks@ajc.org.

[Information courtesy: Nema Etheridge for GlobalAtlanta]

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