In light of the letter in the June 15 issue by H. Lewis criticizing the New York Jewish Community Relations Council, we think it imperative to respond.
The New York JCRC is one of the leading organizations in the nation in fighting BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) and advocating on behalf of Israel. None of the groups participating in the Celebrate Israel Parade supported BDS and suggesting anything different than that flies in the face of the truth. Far more important than that has been the consistent efforts of the JCRC through the leadership of its executive, Michael Miller, and director of Israel and international affairs, Hindy Poupko, to hold the line here in New York against any positive support of BDS. The JCRC was an important leader in the successful effort to overwhelmingly defeat those at Park Slope Food Co-op who wanted the co-op to boycott Israeli products.
Additionally, JCRC’s drafting a successful petition and garnering over 100,000 signatures from all over the world in opposition to the Palestinians’ unsuccessful pursuit of a unilateral declaration of independence at the United Nations last September is one of the best organizational efforts ever put forth on behalf of Israel.
The Israel Action Network, a partnership between the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, views the New York JCRC as one of its principal allies in the battle to stop BDS all through North America. We feel very fortunate to work with the JCRC and see it as an important bulwark in defending Israel in the 21st century.
Rabbi Steve Gutow,
President, Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Managing Director of the Israel Action Network