Welcome to AFCLI!
American Foundation Creating Leadership for Israel
“The newest voice for Americans for Israel”
The Board of AFCLI is deeply saddened to report the passing of AFCLI’s Founder and Executive Director, Lou Balcher.
Louis Norman Balcher passed away on January 23 at the age of 66 after a 19-month hard fought battle with an aggressive form of cancer. He is survived by his devoted wife, Jocelyne, and sons, Daveed and Alex, who were constantly at Lou’s side in the last months of his life. Lou was a proud husband and father who always made his love and pride for his family known to anyone who would listen.
For many years, Lou was the head of Academic Affairs at the Israeli Consulate in Philadelphia, PA. He also worked tirelessly on developing the organization, Young Jewish Leadership Concepts (YJLC), which he and Jocelyne created in 1986 to provide opportunities for Jewish young professionals to form strong community bonds, learn about their Jewish heritage, and build a connection to Israel.
Anyone who knew Lou would agree that he had an energy that would fill a room and an ability to make everyone’s voice heard.
Lou was recently awarded a plaque from the Consulate General of Israel recognizing his devoted service to the Jewish community and people of Israel over four decades. (See photo below).
The plaque reads, in part:
“A Zionist in every aspect of his life, both personally and professionally, Lou is an educator and role model for the next generation of Jewish communal and organizational leadership, imbuing them with leadership skills, a love and knowledge of Israel and what it means to be a true mensch. His contribution, devotion, love and concern for the State of Israel and its people over so many years is something that will never be forgotten. Even when the road was not always so easy, Lou has stood up to the challenges faced by him and ensured that future generations of American Jews are inspired to live a life of service to others.”
May his memory be for a blessing.
In lieu of flowers, Lou’s family asks that donations be sent in his memory to the American Foundation Creating Leadership for Israel (AFCLI) in order to continue Lou’s mission to improve American relationships with Israel.
Lou’s funeral was held January 25th in Israel where he was laid to rest in Tzfat Cemetery near his mother Rebecca.
Zoom Video: The funeral was broadcast to over 160 people around the world via Zoom. The video is available here. Please note that this is a private video. You can access it via the link but it will not be searchable in YouTube
A memorial service will be held in Philadelphia on Sunday, February 27th. Please check back here for details as they become available.
Donations and Condolences
- We were created in the Spring of 2021 for a fresh outlook on improving the relationship between America and Israel
- We have a national board of recognized leaders and do-ers who demonstrate a love for Israel
- We develop leadership for the future support of Israel
- We emphasize collaborations among national Jewish and Israel support organizations
- Building a bridge of connection between America and Israel through AFCLI creative and collaborative programming
- Focusing on young leadership development to guarantee a future of Jewish connection to Israel
- Building collaborations with national Jewish and Israel support organizations
- Fundraising for Israeli medical innovation projects and American young leadership projects, in collaboration with our national partners and philanthropic leadership