Jewish Federations of North America represents 157 Jewish Federations & over 300 independent Jewish communities and is one of the top 10 charities on the continent.
From the Fed's website:
Strengthening Jewish communities in Israel and around the world has always been a top priority for the North American Jewish Community" , along with helping to connect the North American Jewish community with Israel and World Jewry. The Fed also puts on the General Assembly - the premier annual North American Jewish conference, attracting lay leaders and professionals as well as the leadership of the Jewish Federation of North America's partner organizations and other important national Jewish organizations. The General assembly hit the news last year in an unexpected way- when a team of activists from Jewish Voice for Peace calling themselves "Young Jewish and Proud" repeatedly interrupted the proceedings.
The Federation has an annual contest to locate Jewish community heroes, in both the professional and volunteer sector. Its a good thing. But in a move that can only be described as "beyond chutzpah" (sorry Normie), JVP infiltrators Cecilie Surasky and Rebecca Vilkomerson had themselves nominated.
Why should an organization tolerate this? Why should an organization honor those that have tried to shut it down? In this case, the Fed said no, and removed the JVP'ers names from consideration. And Cecilie, a salaried employee of JVP commenced whining about this slight on her blog Muzzlewatch. No, there is no point in linking to it. Muzzlewatch "tracking efforts to stifle open debate about US-Israeli foreign policy" does not allow comments.
The local Jewish paper , the J Weekly had written about Cecilie's nomination earlier in the week. The comments are particularly interesting:
From Mike Harris:
"Surasky’s nomination was clearly an attempt to subvert the rules of the Jewish Community Heroes contest, which state the criteria for the awards:
“The nominee shows exceptional qualities and commitment in line with the mission of The Jewish Federations of North America.” Clearly the mission of the Federations is not congruent with an organization that presents speakers such as Alice Walker and Ali Abunimah, that supports and endorses BDS activities, and that publicly stands with those who openly support Hamas and Hezbollah."
This incident is just one more lesson, demonstrating that the institutions of our community need to remain vigilant against attempts by anti-Israel extremists to subvert them. JVP will remain “outside the tent”, but if it wants to come inside, the password isn’t complicated. Just say “I accept the Jewish state.”
From Cadance M
"Nowhere in her nominating statement is Cecilie’s affiliation with the notorious anti-Israel organization “JVP” even mentioned. Did she think that her paid position with this group would negatively impact people’s opinion of her activism? Judging by the comments, she was right. If Cecilie is uncomfortable mentioning her employer, maybe there’s a good reason. Any group that stands shoulder to shoulder with those chanting. ” Palestine is our land, and the Jews are our dogs” does not deserve a place at the table. "
"When Yom Kippur ends tomorrow, Jews all over the Bay hour and the world will utter the same words they have said for millenium “Next year in Jerusalem”, reinforcing the ties that bind us with our ancient homeland.
I cant help but wonder what Cecilie will be saying at that same moment."
The action of the Fed shows that Jewish community activists have begun to fight back against the delegitimization of our land and our people. This is also a good thing. And its happening at all levels.
From our friends at Divest this:
"... this type of respect for others is not shared by Surasky and friends who continue to demand access to other people’s organizations and platforms while greedily protecting their own civic spaces at all costs. Which is why I’d like to announce my own contest that anyone (including members of JVP) are free to join.
Announcing the first annual Divest This BDS Bozos ™ competition, a month long quest to find the most ridiculous, hypocritical and/or downright clownish BDS campaign and/or campaigner on the planet. I’ll assume Cecile wants in, and I’m even happy to use the profile provided in her Heroes campaign (with suitable clarifications) as a first nominee. Anyone else interested in submitting your own BDS Bozo can send it to me at divestthis[at]aol[dot]com or post your nominee in the comments section. First prize will be a donation to the Jewish National Fund in the name of the winner.
Indeed it is.