WASHINGTON –– Melanie and René Moreno were honoredwith Israel Bonds’ Israel69 Award last month, presented in recognition of exceptional support for Israel and perpetuating Jewish heritage.
“Israel Bonds are both a financial instrument and a fraternal instrument, a bond of brotherhood and sisterhood with the Jewish state, for Jews and non-Jews alike,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a video message shared with supporters at Israel Bonds’ annual International Prime Minister’s Club Dinner at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach on February 12.
Though the Morenos began their lives far apart geographically–– Melanie is a native Washingtonian, and René is originally from Curaçao–– their two families had a shared connection with Israel Bonds. “His family bought bonds in Curaçao and my family bought them here,” said Melanie in a phone interview last week. “We’ve been buying Israel Bonds for a long time.”
The couple currently live in Washington, D.C. and Curaçao. Their kids, aged 24 and 26, went to private schools in Washington, D.C. One of just finished a two-year stay in Israel following his participation in the Masa Israel program.
Melanie is involved in multiple Israel-related organizations in addition to serving as the DC chair for Israel Bonds. Her advice to those wanting to find their own way to start supporting Israel: “Just show up.”
“That’s what my father said, if you just show up you’ll get involved,” she explained. “I would definitely like to see more collabotration between American Jews and Jews in Israel.”
“I’m so proud of our heritage, our history, getting to know the Jewish religion and everything that it espouses,” Melanie said at the February 12 dinner. René spoke of his pride in his Jewish faith as well and his personal connection with Israel.
“Once you go to Israel, once you get involved there, you’re going to connect to it,” he said. “The best thing that can happen for everyone who has an interest in Israel is to visit there because that is how you really become passionate about it.”
In addition to the Morenos, Israel Bonds recognized 14 other individuals or pairs of honorees from the United States, Canada and Mexico, with its prestigious Israel69 Award. Celebrity emcee Jason Alexander headlined the Prime Minister’s Club Dinner. Also in attendance wereIsrael’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Danny Danon, Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles Sam Grundwerg, ConsulGeneral of Israel in Florida Lior Haiat, as well asrepresentatives from the Israeli Finance Ministry, Director General Shai Babad, and Deputy Accountant General Yali Rothenberg.