Friday, July 27, 2012


Today, after an article on the subject of JFNA and Zionism appearing in The Jewish Press, JFNA sent out its response:

"Dear GPT Committee Members,

This morning we learned about a misleading piece in the Jewish Press.  

Kathy Manning and I shared a statement with the Jewish Press which is included in the broader statement below. We encourage you to share this statement. 

On July 27, 2012, Lori Lowenthal Marcus wrote accusing the Jewish Federations of North America of moving away from its support of Israel and Zionism.  Nothing could be further from the truth. The ongoing support of Israel is fundamental to Federations and to JFNA. Our system sends hundreds of millions of dollars each year to Israel to support the vulnerable, to assist in education programs, to help new immigrants, to assist in job and skills development, and to provide concrete expressions of solidarity during Israel's darkest hours. We connect American Jews to Israel and Israelis by supporting birthright and other youth and young adult programs, community and national missions to Israel, and innovative partnerships between our communities and Israeli communities.  We are proud to be holding our 2013 General Assembly in Israel, where we will have an opportunity to highlight the important work we do with our partners in Israel."

An almost identical mailing was sent to Federation executives. 

It would serve no purpose to restate here all of that about which I and others have written before. Let the record show that over the past six years the "on-going support" from our system through the core budgets of our partners in Israel and overseas has been reduced by well over $100,000,000 and advocacy for these critical allocations " support the vulnerable, to assist in education programs, to assist in job and skills development..." to care for those of our People most in need, has not even been an after-thought.

Shabbat shalom,



Anonymous said...

Richard, I see that JFNA engaged in a non-denial denial as to all things in your Post.

Anonymous said...

Yep. there they go again - kill the messenger!!

Anonymous said...

Ok. I just read the article about this and was horrified. We can not be told that "zionism"is too controversial. To do so is to succomb to the most antisemitic elements on earth.
Over 20 years ago a bunch of young people in NYC went to UJA to see if we could work on getting money to Israel. They wouldn't let us make sure where that money went long story short. We started our own charity supporting education. We do programs in English Math and Hebrew for kids before college. They have some of the highest scores and college acceptances in Israel and they are not from well funded households. We have had a vibrant Israeli board fundraising there for over 15 years. You don't have to give through these systems to make a difference.

Hang in there Mr. Wexler. We support you.

RWEX said...

Thanks and the best wishes to you and your colleagues as well.

Anonymous said...


You and your readers should be aware that now the leaders of JFNA have decided that rather than apologize for rejecting the word "zionism" and all that zionism embodies as too controversial, they will claim that there was an attempt to substitute the phrase "the Zionist enterprise" for "the State of Israel."

I can tell you that they are just making this up.

RWEX said...

How sad. All JFNA need do is issue one of its many Leadership Briefings and announce that the final GPT Report will include specific language in support of Zionism. Instead, there are non-denial denials, and wat some may call a cover-up.

Anonymous said...

Zionism is "controversial"? How? To whom? I'll pick "controversy" over self-hatred, self-abnegation, and victimization every time.

With the recent increases in open antisemitism and terror against Jews in the world today, this is precisely the time to be _more_ "controversial", not less.

JFNA are cowards and appeasers.