An trustworthy dialog about JFREJ – The Ahead

learn about An trustworthy dialog about JFREJ – The Ahead

“We want,” stated a spokesman for the Anti-Defamation League JTA reporter Jacob Henry final month, “to have an trustworthy dialog about JFREJ.” I’ve been proud member of Jews for Racial and Financial Justice for a few decade, so welcome that trustworthy dialog.

However the ADL spokesperson’s feedback got here after one of many lesser-known NY-10 Congressional candidates used Twitter to assault our group. The accused JFREJ members of pretending to be a part of “the Jewish majority neighborhood” after which calling our group’s electoral arm, openly known as The Jewish Vote, anti-Semitic. He additionally focused particular person JFREJ members in his tweets, who had been then subjected to a torrent of on-line harassment.

To my shock, ADL Government Director Jonathan Greenblatt retweeted one of many candidate’s anti-JFREJ Twitter threads, and his spokesperson used a subsequent interview on the thread to denounce JFREJ extra explicitly, one thing the candidate has completed ever since. then. repeatedly seized from elevate additional their spots.

By itself, Greenblatt’s retweet was an insult to Jews like me who dwell within the district, and to our buddies and neighbors. However the harm was intensified as a result of the transfer got here in opposition to a nationwide backdrop of right-wing Jews attacking left-wing Jews: AIPAC declared synagogue president and Michigan congressman Andy Levin to be their larger objective for defeat; assaults on leftist Jews for holding unorthodox havdalah providers; Y years of complaints, expulsionsY layoffs of Jews who misplaced of an Israel-right-or-wrong line.

Whatever the context, I am wanting ahead to having an trustworthy dialog about JFREJ. So here is some honesty: JFREJ has 6,000 members, of which 4,500 dwell in New York. For many people, JFREJ is our most important Jewish affiliation, our Jewish and political dwelling. We do not simply manage and march with JFREJ; we construct Jewish rituals, have fun events, make buddies. JFREJ and The Jewish Vote are loudly and proudly the house of New York’s Jewish Left.

An trustworthy dialog about JFREJ – The Ahead 2
Folks maintain a banner that reads: “We’re Jews for racial and financial justice” Picture of Gili Getz

JFREJ was based in 1990 as a result of, then as now, a bunch of conservatives claimed to talk for all Jews in New York. Massive legacy Jewish organizations tried to power just lately freed anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela to endure an ideological litmus take a look at earlier than he Welcome him to town, and lots of native teams and Jewish leaders intentionally snubbed him for his or her solidarity with the Palestinians.

It is it fell to JFREJ, then a small upstart, to obtain Mandela on his first journey to New York. JFREJ’s first public occasion was a thousand-person Shabbat service to welcome and honor him, which raised $30,000 (the equal of just about $70,000 immediately) for his work in opposition to apartheid.

Within the a long time since, JFREJ has change into an important chief in fights for racial and financial justice, in opposition to anti-semitisma broaden democracya construct a solidarity economic system and to dismantle The injustices of the legal justice system.

Neither JFREJ nor every other group can or ought to declare to talk for all Jews in New York. JFREJ by no means has. However JFREJ is firmly inside the Jewish mainstream, each within the countryside and within the metropolis.

In ballot after ballot, the overwhelming majority of Jewish People report that they consider within the insurance policies we advocate. In a latest survey of American Jewish voters, for instance, 71% of these surveyed opposed legal guidelines in Florida, Texas and Georgia to limit voting rights, 75% stated they had been involved in regards to the repeal of Roe v. Wade and 68% stated they supported instructing the reality of American racial historical past and politics in public colleges.

Time and time once more, most Jewish People inform pollsters that they need extra democracy, a much bigger welfare state, and extra racial justice. Jewish voters are inclined to vote on home, social, and environmental points. In the identical latest ballot, respondents had been requested to decide on the 2 points they needed federal politicians to concentrate on. Local weather change, voting rights and jobs and the economic systemthree themes round which JFREJ is organizedhad been by far the principle choices. Solely 4% of these surveyed answered “Israel”. These findings mirror what those that to check american jews to have discovered by years: Mainstream American Jewry votes on inside points advocated by the left, not Israel coverage.

Proper-wing forces are particularly desperate to undermine any alliance that features immigrants, Muslims, blacks, and Jews. These assaults proceed the McCarthyist custom of disrupting leftist actions by calling consideration to and objecting to the presence of Jews in them. How horrible that the ADL, which nonetheless calls itself a civil rights group, joins this custom.

Like different JFREJ members, I’m joyful to have an trustworthy dialog about our group, even on the subject of empirically false assaults. However as greater than 75 Jewish leaders demanded final weekWithin the curiosity of honesty, the ADL and its government director, Jonathan Greenblatt, should apologize.

To contact the writer, ship an e mail to [email protected]

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