David Fisch, a 22-year-old Columbia University student, said today he had resigned as executive director of the Jewish Defense League because the present members of the JDL executive board “are neither suited nor qualified” for leadership.
Fisch said his basic difference with the members of the executive board was that he believed that JDL members should be informed on the reasons for JDL actions and that members of the board did not. He said the board members were motivated “by something completely foreign” to that to which he and Rabbi Meir Kahane, the JDL founder, “have been committed.” Fisch was named executive director after Rabbi Kahane settled in Israel.
Fisch said the commitment of the claimed 11,000 members should be to love of Jewry, Jewish pride and Jewish power. He told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that JDL “should always be a militant organization but militancy should not be the final ideal.”
Fisch said he resigned from the board last November without public announcement in the hope that the resignation would bring changes in the views of the board members, particularly on the issue of a national convention which he said the board opposed. He said he had resigned on June 7 as executive director, but withheld announcing his resignation again in the hope of inducing a board majority to support his views.
He said two board members resigned with him, one a woman, Faye Lloyd of Long Beach, N.Y. and the other a male member whose name he said he was not at liberty to disclose. He said he was continuing his membership in JDL because he believed that the group “even with its present leadership, is far superior in ideology and in relevance to the vast majority” of Jewish groups “floating around the American Jewish community.”
Fisch also announced that he was disbanding the JDL’s chapter at Columbia University and will replace it with three organizations, one dealing with social and cultural activities, the second a religious group, and the third dealing with political activities.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.