New Israel Fund

Reform Rift Over Zionist Credentials of Incoming Chief Rick Jacobs


SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) – Ads questioning the Zionist credentials of the leader-designate of the Reform movement are a distortion, Reform leaders said.

The ad attacking Rabbi Richard Jacobs for not being sufficiently pro-Israel appeared in a number of Jewish newspapers this week. It was placed by a group of Reform Jews calling themselves Jews Against Divisive Leadership.

J.J. Goldberg gets it on Richard Jacobs, Reform, J Street

Okay, he works for the competition and all, but I have to say it: the Forward's J.J. Goldberg nailed it  on the issue of Rabbi Richard Jacobs, recently selected as the new president of the Union for Reform Judaism.

In Defending Israel, Mainstream U.S. Jewish Groups Critique It


WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Enmeshed in the battle against Israel’s delegitimization, mainstream American Jewish organizations are embracing a strategy of acknowledging what’s wrong about Israel as a way of getting across what’s right about the nation.

AJC, NIF share a concern: Israeli democracy

I can't recall many times when the American Jewish Committee and the New Israel Fund have been on the same page on a critical issue involving Israel, but it happened this week.

Diaspora Rabbis Urge Israeli Colleagues to Speak Out on Rental Ruling


WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Over 750 rabbis and cantors of all denominations signed a letter urging their Israeli colleagues to speak out against a ruling by 39 municipal rabbis banning renting to non-Jews.

"The recent halakhic ruling from community rabbis in Israel that forbids leasing apartments to non-Jews has caused great shock and pain in our communities," said the letter, initiated by the New Israel Fund. "The attempt to root discriminatory policies based on religion or ethnicity in Torah is a painful distortion of our tradition."

Israel’s ‘Gift To Delegitimizers’

Controversial oath could end up testing
American Jews’ loyalty.

Washington Correspondent

Some pro-Israel groups insist it’s nothing more than an Israeli version of America’s “pledge of allegiance,” but to Israeli civil rights groups the move to amend a loyalty oath for non-Jews seeking citizenship is one more big step away from the state’s democratic ideal.

And some Jewish leaders here say the debate now raging in Israel could have a devastating impact — both on Israel’s international standing and on a population of younger American Jews who are already drifting away from pro-Israel commitment.

“Whatever else this issue means,” says New Israel Fund CEO Daniel Sokatch, “it’s not good for the fraying bonds between younger

New Israel Fund: Grantees Must Not Actively Oppose Israel’s Jewish Character


WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Groups that work to "deny the right of the Jewish people to sovereign self-determination within Israel" will not be eligible for New Israel Fund moneys.

In new guidelines issued to JTA on Thursday, the progressive pro-Israel olutfit, which has come under fire for funding groups that are sharply critical of Israel and that have promoted a binational state instead of a Jewish one, reiterated its well known principles upholding minority rights and promoting equal rights for all.

A New York Minute: Daniel Sokatch: Back on the Outside

Leaves S.F. federation to take over New Israel Fund

Washington Correspondent

In 2008 the Jewish Federation of San Francisco stunned the Jewish world with the selection of Daniel Sokatch, the founding director of the Progressive Jewish Alliance (PJA), as CEO. Last week Sokatch announced he is leaving the federation to take the top job at the liberal New Israel Fund. Sokatch spoke to The Jewish Week about the Jewish establishment, Israel and connecting to new generations of Jewish activists.

Q: When you left the PJA, you said one of your goals was to move the federation toward a new mode of progressive activism. Did you succeed?

The Brawl On The Mall

Washington Correspondent
Washington — Norman Rosenberg doesn’t come across as a zealot. He is, by trade, a public-interest lawyer, with the low-key, ever-so-earnest demeanor befitting that role. But he has a special talent for enraging pro-Israel hard-liners. Rosenberg is the longtime executive director of the New Israel Fund, the group based here that the Jewish right loves to hate — largely, critics and admirers agree, because the group’s philanthropic firepower is boosting grassroots organizations that are changing the face of Israeli society.

Smithsonian Gets Hit With A Right Hook

Washington Correspondent
Smithsonian Gets Hit With A Right Hook
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