By Kaylene Rudy-Ladinsky / krudy@atljewishtimes.com

Opher Aviran for Atlanta Jewish Times

As consul general, Ambassador Opher Aviran has drawn together diverse support for Israel and the Jewish community.

As president and founder of Americans United With Israel and business manager of the Atlanta Jewish Times, I have had many opportunities to work with Ambassador Opher Aviran. I have witnessed him not only working to benefit the land of Israel, but also supporting our Jewish community as a whole. He has always been so welcoming when joining hands in local events that go above and beyond the call of duty for a consul general.

My relationship with Ambassador Aviran began almost four years ago in 2011. We worked together while organizing several pro-Israel events, including the United We Stand rally at the Georgia World Congress Center, the Jerusalem Festival at Emory University, and most recently the AUWI and Friends of the Israel Defense Forces rally during the Gaza conflict this past August, as well as many other community events. One of his greatest strengths is his ability to bring diverse people together. I have witnessed the richness of support grow among our local politicians and the evangelical community not only for Israel, but also for the entire Jewish community.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to have worked with Ambassador Aviran during his tenure as consul general of Israel to the Southeast, as he has inspired me to be an advocate for Israel and a better member of this community in many ways. He always encourages me to make a difference while reaching wider and farther when speaking up for Israel.

He has touched thousands of lives and made an impact throughout the Southeast that will never be forgotten. I am sad that his time in Atlanta is coming to a close but also feel fortunate that he had this time here.

Dear Ambassador Aviran,

I want to thank you personally for believing in me when I came to you with a plan to “stand united with Israel.” You encouraged me to believe that a single person can make a significant difference. Americans United With Israel was nothing more than a dream in 2011 and now has over 3 million members and raised almost $1 million in 2014, sent directly to Israel. You have touched my life, and by extension the ripple has touched a million more.

How blessed we all are to have had this chance to know and experience your professional and personal gifts. I can only wish you the greatest blessings and most prosperous future to come. You deserve the very best.

Thank you so much for all you have done and all that you are doing.