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Yes, I Can Be A Zionist And A Feminist – Huffington Post

Posted By on April 22, 2017

Linda Sarsour, the Palestinian-American political activist, expressed back in March how feminists need to care for Palestinian women, and alluded to the sentiment that Zionism and feminism are incompatible. Sarsour said to The Nation, It just doesnt make any sense for someone to say, Is there room for people who support the state of Israel and do not criticize it in the movement? There cant be in feminism. You either stand up for the rights of all women, including Palestinians, or none. Theres just no way around it.

Big Bang Theory actress and Orthodox Jew, Mayim Bialik, retaliated by writing an article for Grok Nation, which outlined how Sarsours statements were not only offensive, but also false. Bialik wrote on her Facebook page, where she also apologized for making it seem as though Sarsour directly said that Zionism and feminism are incompatible, [The] conversation surrounding Zionism finally went too far for me to keep my big mouth shut. Bialik vocalized her frustrations, and now I am following suit. I am tired of the discrimination against my people and of activists, such as Sarsour, who think they can pit my identity as both a Zionist and feminist against each other.

The headline-making feud between Sarsour and Bialik made me start to think about the correlation between my feminism and my support of Israel. Zionism is the belief that Jews have the right to a state, just as feminism is the right to equality. But both definitions have been shanghaied by anti-Semitic and misogynistic rhetoric. This is where I realized that the ways in which people express anti-Zionism are very much alike to sexism.

My stances with Israel are not straightforward, because sociopolitical realities are complex. As a liberal Zionist I do not support Likud or Netanyau, just as I do not support Trump. But as a Jew, I was raised to love my Jewish homeland and to appreciate it as the only true sanctuary for my people. My view is further complicated because as an academic I praise the country for being the only democracy in the Middle East. Most importantly for me, as a feminist, I value Israel for its progressive stances on womens and LGBTQIAs rights.

As a Zionist and a feminist my stances have been relegated to black and white understandings, leaving me a blank canvas for others to picture me. Once people at my liberal arts college, Sarah Lawrence, discovered the dark truth that I do not despise Israel, I was labeled as a Zionist-extremist. Similarly, as a female, I am labeled as a slut or prude, dumb or overbearingthe latter being when they realize I have a brain. It is this labeling of my Zionism and of my womanhood that reduces the beauty of belief to something ugly and untrue.

Beyond the labels themselves, it is the mindset behind them that is disturbing. It is as though they are created in a moral-complex vacuum, which only spouts double standards but refuses to take in any insight. If a woman speaks her mind she is considered angry, whereas a man is deemed intelligent and forthright. Similarly, Israel is constantly under threat of destruction by surrounding countries, but Israel is seen as the Goliath perpetrator.

The Israel-Palestine conflict cannot be reduced to good and evil. This is not to relegate the human rights violations that have occurred, but to contextualize them. We are dealing with Likud, a right-winged government, and Hamas, a UN recognized terrorist regime. I am critical of the government just as I am with most current countries. But Israel is more than a government. It is a country that allows trans people into the army, has Arab women representation in government, and maintains womens rights, such as education, in their legislature.

It is absurd, especially when one looks to any country North, South, East, or West of Israel and understands their human rights violations, that I am told my feminism and Zionism are incompatible. Our allegiances should be with the peopleboth Israeli and Palestinianand not focused on demonizing either, that is unless we demonize the entire Middle East for their relatively greater human rights violations. People call Israel an ethnic cleansing, apartheid state but Israel has a more diverse population than its surrounding countries and, unlike South Africa apartheid, has laws of nondiscrimination within its constitution. Yes, racism exists within Israel, as it does in most parts of the world. But singling out the Jewish State above the rest shows how these double standards are a projection of anti-Semitism as opposed to true concern for the people.

To be a feminist is to accept that women have a choice. Bialik said on her Facebook page,And the slow – and not-so-slow – forcing out of liberal Jews from our own political identification as liberals is the most divisive, un-American, un-feminist, disturbing turn of events in my life as a liberal Zionist. Sarsour should reevaluate her feminism, because as it stands right now, she excludes and outcasts a large portion of liberal Zionist women. I would implore Sarsour to widen her lens to the Jewish women, a group of people that are a speck of the population on this planet.

The Jewish people have been through a history of oppression and discrimination, and yet, despite people like Sarsour, we are still here. Just as I should have the right to choose what is right for my body, I should have the right to choose what is right for my mind. I choose the Jewish state and my fellow womenno incompatibility found.

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Yes, I Can Be A Zionist And A Feminist – Huffington Post

The Loneliness of the Long-distance Liberal Zionist – Haaretz

Posted By on April 22, 2017

Home > Israel News

Arch-Zionists and anti-Zionists want to make us choose between the two pillars of our identity

Ive been thinking recently about dodo birds. You know, the fat, friendly and flightless bird first discovered on the island of Mauritius at the end of the…

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The Loneliness of the Long-distance Liberal Zionist – Haaretz

I, Too, Am One of ‘Them’ – the Religious Zionists – Haaretz

Posted By on April 22, 2017

Home > Opinion

The inconsequentiality with which some of Haaretz’s writers treat the Jewish faith and the religiously observant community does not attest to depth and talent

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I, Too, Am One of ‘Them’ – the Religious Zionists – Haaretz

Texas House of Representatives unanimously passes anti-BDS bill – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Posted By on April 22, 2017

The US and Texas State flags fly over the Texas State Capitol in Austin. (photo credit:REUTERS)

In a groundbreaking legislative act to blunt economic warfare against Israel, the Texas House of Representatives unanimously passed on Thursday an anti-boycott bill that bars the state from engaging in business with companies that are involved in the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement targeting the Jewish state.

The bill was passed 131-0 and the author of the legislation was Representative Phil King. Pro-Israel organizations welcomed the vote.

Joel Schwitzer, the Regional Director of the American Jewish Committee in Dallas, told The Jerusalem Post, “AJC together with other community leaders worked diligently to ensure that every legislator received multiple contacts about the importance of passing this bill. Were excited that this brings this legislation one step closer to being law of the land in Texas, strengthening its relationship with Israel, Texas 4th largest trading partner. We appreciate the leadership of Representative Phil King in authoring the bill. It is gratifying to see our elected officials sending such a clear and principled message that Texas will not do business with those who boycott our friend Israel.”

Sen. Brandon Creighton, the author of the Senate anti-BDS bill, said Texas should not do business with companies that participate in the BDS movement.

I want to thank the government of Texas for seeing the true, hateful intentions of BDS and banning such state-sponsored bias, said The Israel Project CEO and President Josh Block. He added, The people of the Lone Star State and Israel share an unbreakable bond based upon mutual values, and by passing this legislation ensuring that taxpayer dollars do not fund discrimination Texas has reaffirmed this important friendship.”

Christians United for Israel (CUFI) said in a statement that ,” CUFI has been working closely with lawmakers in support of the legislation since its conception. These efforts included bringing Texans from across the state to Austin to lobby lawmakers in support of the bill, testifying before both the Senate and House committees to which the legislation was assigned, and distributing an action alert earlier this week letting Texas State Representatives know that CUFIs membership is behind the bill.”

CUFI founder and Chairman Pastor John Hagee said Texas is CUFIs home state and among the most pro-Israel states in the union. The relationship between the Jewish State and the Lone Star State is built upon shared values, including a rock-solid commitment to standing up for liberty especially when it is threatened by radical Islamic extremism.”

I am very proud that Texas will join with those states that have told the BDS movement that America is unimpressed by efforts to demonize Israel. And I am equally proud of the hard work CUFI members, leaders and staff have done in order to see this and similar legislation advance in state capitols around the country, Hagee added.

The Texas State Senate passed its version of anti-BDS bill in March. Texas Governor Greg Abbott is expected to sign a merged version of the anti-BDS bills in early May.

In addition to the unwavering support of Gov. Abbott, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, this legislation would not have been possible without the steadfast leadership of the bills authors, State Sen. Brandon Creighton and State Rep. Phil King, said CUFI Action Fund Chairwoman Sandy Hagee Parker.

CUFI has 3.3 million members in the United States. Daniel S. Mariaschin, the CEO of B’nai B’rith International, told the Post, “We are grateful by the overwhelming support for this measure in the Texas Legislature. It remains vitally important for government figures and legislative bodies to join the growing number of people who recognize the abject injustice of the BDS movement.”

Charles Kaufman, who chairs Bnai Briths International Center for Human Rights and Public Policy and is based in Austin, delivered testimony in the Austin legislature in support of the anti-BDS bill. Mariaschin told the Post last month that the Dallas-based bank Comerica should close an account that it maintains with the pro-BDS organization the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL).The IADL excuses the actions of terrorist organizations and denies Israels right to defend itself,” Mariaschin said.

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Texas House of Representatives unanimously passes anti-BDS bill – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Photographer Irving Schild, former Safe Haven refugee, to speak – SUNY Oswego

Posted By on April 22, 2017

Photographer Irving Schild, a wartime resident of the Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter, will speak as part of SUNY Oswego’s Jewish American Heritage appreciation evening starting at 5 p.m. in the Marano Campus Center food and activity court on Monday, April 24 — the day widely observed as Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“We’re pleased to welcome Irving Schild back to Oswego,” said Earnest Washington, director of campus life at the college. “We look forward to sharing his remarkable story with the current generation of Oswego students, and with the wider community.”

Born in Belgium, Schild left Europe with his family in 1944 when he was 13. For eighteen months, they lived at the fort as part of the group of 981 mostly Jewish refugees admitted to the United States by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and temporarily interned at the facility, also known as Safe Haven.

Remaining in America after the end of World War II, Schild served in the U.S. Marine Corps and trained as a combat photographer. He built a successful career as a commercial photographer, producing work for major publications such as Glamour, Esquire, Life, and — for over 50 years — Mad Magazine. He also taught at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, serving as chair of the photography department.

Free and open to the public, the evening will include music by the Syracuse-based klezmer band, The Wandering Klezmorim, and a sampling of traditional Jewish foods.

Based in Syracuse, The Wandering Klezmorim is a versatile group that plays in the klezmer traditions from Eastern Europe, the Lower East Side and the Middle East. Ken Frieden, professor of Judaic studies at Syracuse University, founded the group in Atlanta. Since then, it has performed concerts and celebrations in Europe, Israel and the Northeast U.S.

In 2017, Holocaust Remembrance Day begins at sunset April 23 and ends the evening of April 24, commemorating the 6 million victims of the Holocaust carried out by the Nazis during World War II. The day occurs on 27 Nisan on the Jewish calendar.

Jewish American Heritage Month appreciation evening is one of the “I am Oz” programs scheduled throughout the academic year, celebrating campus diversity and community.

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Photographer Irving Schild, former Safe Haven refugee, to speak – SUNY Oswego

The Jewish Chronicle – Globe Briefs April 14 – thejewishchronicle.net

Posted By on April 22, 2017

Ohio buys record $61 million in Israel Bonds

The state of Ohio bought a one-day record of $61 million in Israel Bonds.

The largest single government purchase of Israel Bonds, which took place April 3, makes Ohio the largest holder of Israel Bonds with $165 million, the Cleveland Jewish News reported.

State Treasurer Josh Mandel told the newspaper that the purchase in part was in response to the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

First and foremost, we are making this investment because its a good investment for the taxpayers of Ohio, said Mandel, who is Jewish. Second, we are making this investment in an effort to combat the bigotry of the BDS movement. Third, we are making this investment to stand with the only country in the Middle East that shares American values.

In December, the Ohio Legislature passed a law prohibiting the state from contracting with companies that engage in boycotts of Israel. The measure also included language that increased from 1 percent to 2 percent the amount of funds the state treasurer or country treasurers may invest in foreign bonds meeting specified criteria, including Israel Bonds.

Ohio treasurers have been investing in Israel Bonds since 1993, according to the newspaper.

Mandel, who has served as state treasurer since 2011, announced in December that he would run a second time for the Senate.

Israeli firm to provide drinking water from the air

An Israeli company whose technology made a splash at last months AIPAC conference has signed deals to produce drinking water by extracting it from the air in India and Vietnam, two countries that have long faced shortages.

Water Gen inked an agreement with Indias second largest solar company to produce purified water for remote villages in the country. Earlier, the company arranged with the Hanoi government to set up water generators in the Vietnamese capital.

The government of Vietnam greatly esteems the technological developments in Israel, and I hope that the Israeli technology that we supply to Vietnam will significantly help to improve water conditions in the country, Water Gen President Mikhael Mirilashvili said after the signing in Hanoi, according to a statement.

The memoranda of understanding are worth $150 million in total, according to Water Gen, which was founded in 2009 and creates technology that extracts water from the air for use by civilians and soldiers who do not have access to clean sources.

Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz demonstrated Water Gens technology on stage at AIPACs annual policy conference in Washington, D.C., on March 26. He touted the device, which he said can produce 15-20 liters of drinkable water a day, as a weapon against worldwide water scarcity and the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

There is no weapon more powerful in the fight against BDS than for Israel to develop technologies that the world cannot live without, he told the crowd. You cannot boycott products that you cant live without.

About 1.2 billion people, nearly one-fifth of the worlds population, live in areas of water scarcity, according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. More than 75 million of Indias 1.25 billion people lack access to clean water, according to a report last year by Water Aid, a water and sanitation nonprofit. And Vietnam has struggled to provide its 95 million people with water because of contamination, poor infrastructure and heavy agricultural demand.

In India, Water Gen technology is to supply drinking water to remote villages with solar power from Vikar Solar. The Vietnam project is to generate tens of thousands of liters of water a day for the people of Hanoi.

Jewish descendants, says court, can sue Germany for return of Nazi loot

A U.S. court has cleared the way for descendants of Jewish art collectors to sue Germany in the United States over objects allegedly obtained from their ancestors under duress during the Nazi era.

In what lawyers for the complainants are calling a landmark decision, the District Court for the District of Columbia ruled March 31 that claims regarding a collection known as the Guelph Treasure can be filed in a U.S. court.

Three years ago, a German investigative commission found that the original owners of the collection, which the Dresdner Bank purchased on behalf of Hitlers deputy, Hermann Goering, in 1935, were not forced to sell it by the Nazis.

It is the first time that a court has held that Germany can be sued for the return of Nazi-looted art and artifacts under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

For several years, heirs to the consortium of Jewish collectors that bought the 82-piece collection in 1929 as an investment have been demanding the return of the portion sold to Goering. They have estimated its value at approximately $227 million.

The collection is on display at Berlins Bode Museum.

Attorneys filed the suit in the United States in February 2015 against Germany and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, one year after the Limbach Commission, the German advisory board for Holocaust-related claims, rejected the plaintiffs contention that the 1935 sale had been forced.

In its ruling, the court rejected the German defendants contention that the Limbach Commission recommendation bars later litigation in a U.S. court. It also agreed with the plaintiffs that the sale may be considered a taking of property in violation of international law.

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The Jewish Chronicle – Globe Briefs April 14 – thejewishchronicle.net

April 19, 2017 | LEV program promotes an affinity for gardening – Your Niskayuna (registration) (blog)

Posted By on April 20, 2017

By Kristin Schultz

Gazette Reporter

It was a full house as nearly 30 participants took a seat and rolled up their sleeves at the Bnai Brith house for the second installment of the Schenectady JCCs LEV program.

Patty OHare of the Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Schenectady County brought terra cotta pots, potting soil, seeds and clippings as she presented on spring plantings at the March 30 session.

Each of the attendees received two pots of dirt and planted their choice of herb, flower seeds or green plant clippings. Each person also received a special container to start growing a vegetable.

Many of those in attendance live onsite in the apartments. Some of your neighbors couldnt be here today, Judy Ben-Ami, the JCCs Jewish cultural and adult programming director, told the audience. You each have two pots. It might be nice to plant one for yourself and the other to give to a neighbor.

With a grant from the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York, the JCC started a LEV program. LEV in Hebrew means heart and serves as an acronym for the adult program: Learning, Enrichment, Volunteering. The first event was a cooking demonstration.

At the gardening event, participants learned about the importance of proper timing for starting seeds and transplanting them into the ground. OHare also gave each person a packet of articles and guides.

The enrichment portion of the program came with the socializing and interpersonal interaction.

The weather has been cold with slippery conditions, said Ben-Ami. The residents dont like to get out in the elements, so this provides a place for them to get out and interact.

Participants were engaged in lively discussions as they worked to select their seeds and sow them properly in the containers.

Sowing seeds to give to a neighbor was the volunteering portion of the program.

We want to share the joy with a friend, relative or someone who needs some sunshine in their lives, said Ben-Ami.

Though the program is mostly attended by seniors, it is open to the public, and the gardening event was attended by a mix of JCC members, house residents and community members.

Ben-Amis next scheduled program is on art collages.

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April 19, 2017 | LEV program promotes an affinity for gardening – Your Niskayuna (registration) (blog)

AEPi holds Holocaust remembrance for 24 hours – University of Pittsburgh The Pitt News

Posted By on April 20, 2017

A middle-aged man halted his bike on the corner of OHara Street and University Place and asked, What are we never forgetting? to a huddle of students escorted by Pitt Police cars.

About 20 marchers, all dressed in black and clutching small white signs instructing onlookers to Never Forget, hesitated to break their silence. Finally a student in the back, a brother of Alpha Epsilon Pi, quickly uttered the Holocaust before following the crowd to the William Pitt Union lawn.

The We Walk to Remember event, hosted for the first time at Pitt by AEPi, began at Trees Hall at 9 a.m. The event was performed in collaboration with BNai BRith Internationals Unto Every Person There is A Name program to commemorate the Holocaust. It began as a silent walk to the William Pitt Union patio and continued as a 24-hour name-reading of Holocaust victims that will continue until 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

After the walk commenced Tuesday, sophomore Gabriel Kaufman, a finance and marketing major, stood at a podium on the patio, faced the Cathedral and officially broke the silence.

How do you count to six million? Kaufman said. The crowd was spreading out, putting up black and silver signs against anti-Semitism and hanging a blue and gold AEPi flag on the patio.

Each of us has a name given by the mountains and given by our walls, he continued, transitioning into the name-reading part of the event.

He then started reading a list of the names, ages and birthplaces of Holocaust victims. Anyone who wished to read could go up to the podium on the patio and continue the reading for as long as they desired.

Ill take a pause so you can envision what they did with their lives, because they are more than just names, Kaufman said.

After Kaufman, other AEPi brothers and supporters took the stand to read, sometimes pausing between names to add a comment about about their own experiences with anti-Semitism.

Andrew Zale, a sophomore molecular biology student and AEPis former president, said he wants this event to become a tradition at Pitt.

As a Jewish fraternity, we all knew people in the Holocaust, Zale said. It was really an all-encompassing tragedy. I think that people forget just passing on the street every day what big impact the Holocaust has had.

This year, the name reading falls on the last day of Passover. Kaufman said it was fitting, since the last day of Passover symbolizes the freeing of Jewish slaves from Egypt. Since many give up technology during this time, however, he said there will be a greater turnout in the future if they change the date to be around Passover but not during it.

Kaufman said the event is essential to remind people of the dangers of exclusion, especially because he was personally affected by prejudice this year. Vandals knocked down grave stones and desecrated the cemetery that his grandparents are buried in Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery near St. Louis earlier this year.

Chesed Shel Emeth was one of several Jewish cemeteries targeted by vandals throughout the country. According to the FBI, anti-Semitism motivated more than half of the 1,402 anti-religious hate crimes in 2015. In 2017, a wave of more than 100 bomb threats have been directed at Jewish centers and schools.

Ethan Silver, a sophomore chemical engineering student who is the secretary and philanthropy chair for AEPi, has also experienced anti-Semitism very close to his family. Silver said events like the walk are an important part of maintaining history.

People were staring [at us], he said, referring to the successful march. [It] prevents people from pretending this didnt happen.

Throughout the day, visitors from other campus organizations, such as Alpha Epsilon Phi and Alpha Delta Pi, took time to stop by the William Pitt Union patio and express their support during the name-reading.

Gabriel Fruitman waited for his turn to read as twilight set in. The sophomore chemical engineering major and AEPi brother said he was there to support the values his fraternity espouses and to send a message against anti-Semitism.

Its important that we dont stop standing up for ourselves and against those who arent sensitive to the past, he said. Im doing this next year, for sure.

Behind him, a fellow AEPi member continued reading names as the sun sank further down.

Syoma Matz, Boris Mayev, Olina Mednik he read.

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AEPi holds Holocaust remembrance for 24 hours – University of Pittsburgh The Pitt News

OKC interfaith group to host luncheon focused on diversity – NewsOK.com

Posted By on April 20, 2017

From Staff Reports Published: April 19, 2017 5:00 AM CDT Updated: April 19, 2017 5:00 AM CDT

The Dialogue Institute will host a luncheon featuring two distinguished speakers at 11:30 a.m. Friday at the Raindrop Turkish House, 4444 N Classen.

Ori Soltes, Ph.D., and Emre Celik, president of the Rumi Forum will speak on the topic “A Nation of Immigrants: Why Diversity Matters.”

Celik, a native Australian, lives in Washington, D.C. He leads the Rumi Forum, an organization dedicated to social harmony, intercultural and interfaith dialogue issues covering themes of pluralism, social cohesion, democracy and peace building.

Soltes teaches at Georgetown University across a range of disciplines, from art history and theology to philosophy and political history. He is the former director of the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum.

Cost is $15.

For more information or to RSVP, call 702-0222, email okc@thedialoginstitute.org or go to https://goo.gl/RVqvbX.

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OKC interfaith group to host luncheon focused on diversity – NewsOK.com

How will Trump’s budget cuts affect Jewish agencies? – Jweekly.com

Posted By on April 20, 2017

What will be the impact on the Jewish community of the proposed 2018 federal budget, officially known as the America First: A Budget Blueprint To Make America Great Again?

William Daroff, the Jewish Federations of North Americas senior vice president for public policy, estimates that federation-affiliated agencies in this country receive more than $10 billion per year. The funds are mainly Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements to Jewish hospitals, nursing homes and family service agencies. Daroff cautioned that this figure is a guesstimate of sorts, based on a survey conducted about a decade ago.

Jewish social service agencies, in fact, receive federal funds for an array of activities, including counseling services, job training, senior adult housing and programming, food assistance and childcare. A 2002 JTAstory on the fiscal impact of proposed budget cuts during the Bush administration noted that San Franciscos Jewish Vocational Service received $2.3 million of its $5.5 million operating budget from federal, state and local governments.

More recently, a statement by Bnai Brith International noted that a proposed 13.2 percent cut to the Department of Housing and Urban Development envisioned by the 2018 budget would adversely affect the 38 buildings with 8,000 residents in the Bnai Brith network.

Federal budget cuts also target various cultural and educational programs. Jewish agencies that receive federal monies in these areas including after-school enrichment programs, film festivals or arts education may find their grants reduced or eliminated.

Jewish cultural organizations throughout the country would be severely and negatively affected by the elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Endowment for the Arts. These agencies fund programs in every pocket of America: San Franciscos Contemporary Jewish Museum, the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival in Georgia, the Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre in New York, Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly in Massachusetts, the Jewish Arts Foundation of Palm Beach in Florida, the Maine Jewish Film Festival, the Oklahoma Israel Exchange, RUACH in Wisconsin, Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies in Illinois, the Jewish Community Center of Washington, DC., the Irene Kaufmann Center/JCC in Pittsburgh. The list is endless.

Jews are major supporters of local theater companies, art museums, symphony orchestras and public broadcasting stations, many of which are likely to be affected by budgetary cuts. So, we will see Jews stepping up to increase their support of these cultural and educational institutions?

The reductions will also affect United States foreign policy interests, as the State Departments financial capacity to provide foreign aid and underwrite other grant programs is likely to be reduced or eliminated. These resources have been central to strengthening U.S. influence in many regions. Israel policy-makers and Jewish leaders have described these proposed cuts as detrimental to long-term American and Israeli interests in the Middle East and Africa.

The proposed draconian cuts in areas vital to executing U.S. foreign policy could adversely affect our national security interests by potentially creating more pressure on the American military while essential diplomacy is being undermined, said David Harris, the American Jewish Committees CEO. Deep cuts to the State Department, including in key educational and cultural exchange programs, will severely harm Americas ability to assert our interests and values abroad.

Summarizing the overall impact of such proposed cuts, the Reform Movements Religious Action Center offered the following assessment: The budgets drastic reduction in funding for critical human needs, environmental protection and international aid programs abdicate the federal governments responsibility to the American people it serves and others worldwide who depend on U.S. leadership.

No doubt, the interplay between the Jewish community and the federal government has expanded over time, making agencies and programs of our communal institutions increasingly dependent on federal and state resources to support these key safety net activities. Similarly, the connections between public arts funding and the institutions of the Jewish community have likewise expanded over time. In the wake of these proposals, some of these key resources and partnerships will no longer be available.

Confronting similar budget cuts, some institutions in the past have opted to close their doors. While this option is seen as the last stance, in some settings it may represent the only viable pathway.

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How will Trump’s budget cuts affect Jewish agencies? – Jweekly.com


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