After Gaza militants unleashed their heaviest rocket fire in 20 months, there has been an outpouring of support for Israel from Jewish groups across the political spectrum. Both from the left and right, Jewish organizations condemned the murder of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir.
Six years ago, J Street was founded on the premise that a large component of the American Jewish community had a voice that wasn't being represented in our own traditional establishment organizations. Five years ago, I joined J Street's lay leadership in New York because I'd felt that sentiment personally. And as J Street went through the process of applying for membership to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, I was asked several times: Why even bother? You guys are the outsider voice by nature, so why try to get “in?"
Pushback is hard as anti-Jacobs group threatens another ad.
Responding to an ad from a small but vocal group of critics who insist that the president-designate of the Union of Reform Judaism is not sufficiently pro-Israel, the movement and its supporters pushed back hard this week with a series of statements and opinion pieces this week defending him.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A combination of timing, diplomatic considerations and, above all, good old-fashioned nudging has culminated in the biggest push in years to free Jonathan Pollard.
Insiders associated with the push, which resulted last week in a congressional letter to President Obama asking for clemency for the American Jew convicted in 1987 of spying for Israel, say the main factor was one man: David Nyer, an Orthodox activist from Monsey, N.Y.
Update: Now we've heard from the Conservative movement. In a statement, the Rabbinical Assembly, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the Jewish Theological Assembly and eight other movement groups said this: "As leaders of the Conservative/Masorti movement, we deplore these recent comments of Former Chief Sephardic Rabbi Ovadia Yosef that, like many of his comments over the years, constitute irresponsible incitement to violence.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Two weeks before their launch, the promised renewal of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks has already engendered a first: a joint statement of welcome by mainstream U.S. Jewish and Palestinian groups.