JCCWatch Responds


It is wrong for The Jewish Week to marginalize the efforts of JCCWatch.org and the growing group of Jews who refuse to allow their communal organizations to twist their support of Israel and embrace those groups who look to hurt Israel (“Advocacy Gone Awry,” Editor’s column, March 18)

The issue is not JCCWatch.org or me as an individual. Rather, the issue is that the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan continues to give broad support, by linking to and partnering with, organizations that have associated themselves with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and the “lawfare” campaign against Israel. In particular, groups such as the New Israel Fund, B’Tselem, Human Rights Watch and J Street have been linked by NGO Monitor (www.ngo-monitor.org) as providing support by either funding, supporting or working with other groups in their quest to delegitimize Israel, through Boycott, Divestment or Sanctions.

JCCWatch.org has acted neither aggressively nor irresponsibly as we’ve tried to engage the board of directors of the JCC in Manhattan to put an end to these links, partnerships and subsidies. Since my letter of Jan. 6 to the board, when I extensively outlined the issues and our concerns, the members have had more than ample time to correct this issue.

Your problem is not with me, but with the JCC’s own website (www.otherisrael.org/partners), where these groups are called “partners,” and links are provided to their websites.

JCCWatch.org is far from the “one-man group” you characterized it as. This personal attack on me will not deter me nor the other members of the JCCWatch.org from our stated goal of having the board of directors pass transparent and public anti-BDS guidelines, not unlike those passed by the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco.

Our group is made up of individuals and organizations such as Z Street, Americans for a Safe Israel, Irwin Hochberg (former chairman of the board of the UJA-Federation of New York) and Jeffrey Wiesenfeld.

We will not be deterred. Our efforts to educate the public on the links and “partnerships” of the JCC in Manhattan will continue and grow until the JCC board acts to halt these “partnerships” and pass anti-BDS guidelines.

Founder, JCCWatch.org