Thursday, May 28, 2009


Friends, yesterday Yis Schulman provided additional input on the intended "relocation" of 25 or so Yemenite Jewish families to America. He was responding to questions raised by Jay Sarver, not alone the Co-Chair of the Aliya Department of the Jewish Agency, but a past Chair of the St. Louis Federation and one of North America's most thoughtful lay leaders.

"From: Yisroel Schulman
Sent: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 5:52 PM
To: 'jaysarver
Re: Yemen Jews coming to Monsey

Thank you Jay. I only meant that each child will have free choice. Frankly, many of us are hoping that they will begin their own yemeni school. I commit that a secular lawyer from my office will expain to each family their rights, etc. Other facts on the ground are as follows: FEGS is providing oversight, job training and case management, etc; NYLAG is providing all of the necessary legal services; monsey family health is providing all necessary medical services and referrals; the community college is providing the english classes. The main role for UJO has been to raise some funds from their community and use some of their monsey contacts to help the committee find housing and office space (others have also raised funds.). None of UJO's current staff will work on-site in Monsey and communal lay oversight consists of representatives from the local federation, other jewish communal groups and the existing yemeni community

Frankly. I strongly object and resent anyone referring to this as a joint UJC/UJO initiative as it unfairly minimizes the work of so many.


From: Jay Sarver
To: Yisroel Schulman
Sent: Tue May 26 15:21:38 2009
Re: Yemen Jews coming to Monsey

I believe the compelling reason for the Yemeni community moving to Monsey is the promise of compensation for both their existing property as well as costs associated with their resettlement. As we know, with every promise of compensation is an associated cost.

I noticed in your response that you mentioned that the kids would not be 'required' to attend Satmar schools. I would hope they would be prevented from attending should indeed federations including my own be asked to donate.

I do not doubt for a moment the impressive work done by you and others in your local community. Your selfless efforts for those less fortunate are exemplary. However, I think this issue is beyond the concept of freedom of choice. It is about the federated system supporting the Satmar community and all that it stands for vis a vis Israel."


I think that all that could be said (or written) on the subject has been. The seminal issue -- the propriety of UJC ignoring its partners and its owners in its frenzy to accomplish this relocation --has been more than unfortunate. It is that "ignorance" which has been the catalyst for all of the concerns that have followed.

And there is a final question: when the federations fail to wholly fund the $800,000 "ask," for whatever the reason, then what? Will Yis Schulman and other men and women of good faith who support this effort join the ranks of those who have been let down by UJC's failures?


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