Progressive Jewish group opens D.C. office

NEW YORK (JTA) — Bend the Arc, created from the merger of Jewish Funds for Justice and the Progressive Jewish Alliance, will open a Washington office and create a political action committee.

The group said Wednesday that it plans to use the new entities to promote a more rounded, progressive agenda and focus on domestic topics instead of America-Israel relations. 

"If you would ask any elected official or a lot of journalists what Jews care about more than anything, they will say, ‘They are a single-issue constituency and all they care about is Israel.’ And I just believe that that’s not true," Alan van Capelle, the organization’s chief executive officer, said, according to The Huffington Post. "I want to invert the narrative that Jews in this country only care about one issue."

The first big political push of Bend the Arc, which emerged this spring from the merger, will be to mobilize against those who support a tax cut extension in December for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans, according to the Times of Israel.

The group plans to launch a petition along with a pledge signed by American Jews earning more than $250,000 to allow taxes to revert to pre-George W. Bush levels. 

“We want the line drawn at $250,000 a year,” said Hadar Susskind, a veteran government affairs professional, the Times of Israel reported. “Tax cuts should remain in place for anyone making less than that annually. Above that – the top 2 percent of Americans – they need to be willing to pay their fair share.”

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