Shalom Center Demands Resignation of JCPA President for Protecting Anti-Semites in White House

JCPA says "Shush" in fear of Big Donors

The Forward yesterday reported that the Jewish  Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), an umbrella group that is supposed to carry Jewish concerns on public policy into the public arena, had urged Jewish organizations not to demand that the White House fire Steve Bannon and other white supremacist officials.

The JCPA ‘s memo said that making this demand might alienate major donors.

The memo was sent by, and explained by, David Bernstein, president of JCPA.

The Shalom Center demands the immediate resignation of David Bernstein and immediate steps by JCPA to cleanse itself of toadying to Jewish billionaires instead of serving the interests and values of American Jews.


We invite and urge all members, friends, and readers of The Shalom Center to join in a petition to the JCPA to clean its house, beginning at the top.  

Although donations to support serious Jewish work may be useful, JCPAs decision kowtows to donors who think it is “good for the Jews to have anti-Semites and white supremacists in positions of great power.  Their loyalty is clearly not to the Jewish people, Jewish values,  or the Jewish future   which should be JCPAs central concern.

Our petition ends, “In the spirit of the approaching High Holy Days, we urge immediate action by the JCPA to do tshuvah, repenting from this perversion of Jewish values, needs, and interests , and turning toward a renewed commitment to  the freedom of American Jews in the midst of a renewed American democracy. “

You can sign by clicking here:

Please forward this letter to your friends and colleagues by clicking here:

Background information:

The  memo went out across the country a few days after the Charlottesville explosion of anti-Semitic, racist violence  -- when the Swastika and the Confederate Battle Flag of Slavery flew side by side  and a White Supremacist murdered a nonviolent peaceful pro-democracy protester.  And after Mr. Trump had put a White House "kosher" stamp on the neo-fascist mob as including many “fine people.”

In other words, to keep Jewish multimillionaire and billionaire donors on board, the JCPA thinks the Jewish community should tolerate ultra-right-wing racists and anti-Semites in the highest ranks of power in the United States.

There could be no more disgusting dereliction from the protection not only of Jewish freedom and Jewish lives, but from the defense and  revitalization of democracy in America -- which is now under attack from the White House.

To read more:

This episode speaks beyond itself, to the need for z top-to-bottom rethinking of the way in which the American Jewish community operates, and how some of its major institutions depend on Big Money, not on real people  -- their members.

Meanwhile, I am proud to report that several large organizations of American rabbis made clear what true Jewish values are by announcing they would not take part in a traditional annual pre-Rosh Hashanah telephone conversation between hundreds of rabbis and the President.

Not this President! --  they said.

You can sign the petition  for a JCPA housecleaning by clicking here:

Please forward this letter to your friends and colleagues by clicking here:


Jewish and Interfaith Topics: 


JCPA's protection of White Supremacists in the White House

<p><span style="font-size: medium;">I am deeply saddened that the leadership of JCPA did not stand forcefullyly to demand that any and all persons in the White House who gave support to the white supremacists immediately be fired or resign including the notorious Steve Bannon. I join the call for David Bernstein to step down along with any and all other leadership who took this position.</span></p>

part of a pattern in large Jewish community organizations

<p><span style="font-size: medium;">The problem of Jewish community establishment institutions falling on the wrong side of clear-cut social justice issues is widespread and has a long history. The only difference now in this example with JCPA is that the issue directly affects us, Jews, as a group, all of us. I have no doubt that in most cases, it is for the purpose of not alienating potential donors or for cozying up to some parts of the donor community who might otherwise feel politically at odds with an actual social justice agenda. For example, in 2006, the metro Washington DC Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) gave its highest award to Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf after Wolf voted in favor of a bill which passed the House of Representatives which would have made it a felony to give any assistance, including counseling, to anyone known to be an undocumented immigrant. It would have made thousands of social service workers into felons, as well as clergy, teachers, and many others, and was among the most barbaric bills to have passed in recent years up to that time. The JCRC Executive Director told me by email that the Executive Committee voted UNANIMOUSLY (emphasis mine) to give this honor to Congressman Wolf. Fortunately, the Senate stopped this bill before it would have gone to a Republican President who might have signed it into law. Of course the JCRC wasn't lauding Wolf for this vote, they were recognizing his efforts on attempting to deal with the Darfur crisis, which the DC area Jewish community was heavily involved in acting on and was a real legitimate issue. But they completely turned a blind eye to Wolf's support for this extremely inhumane bill which runs counter to every Jewish principle and teaching about dealing with the stranger and the vulnerable in society. Similarly, when I was active for some years on the issue of police brutality in the county where I lived, and the organizations I was involved in were trying to get state laws in Maryland changed. This was years before there existed any "Black Lives Matter" organization or movement, I couldn't get any traction on the issue or any interest from the Jewish community organizations who get involved in social issues. And before that, when I was living in Madison WI, when the Soviet Union fell and the door swung open for Jews to leave and anti-Semitism became again more openly virulent in Russia, the organized Jewish community institutions in Madison and most of them also elsewhere were directly hostile to the idea of increasing the immigration quota in the US, instead trying to funnel would-be former-Soviet emigrants to Israel, despite the fact that at that time, Israel was having great difficulty absorbing so many because the numbers were overwhelming for such a small country. And the Jewish community in Madison was also not moveable to get involved in hot local issues such as living wage being pushed by progressive organizations in the community. Our Jewish community institutions have a long mixed record on social justice, often times trumpeting the general cause while stymieing the specific real issues in our communities and rewarding the wrong "leaders" and backing "safe" legislation that would not be controversial in their donor pools while intentionally staying away from controversial issues where real distinctions and real impacts on people's lives were at stake. While I agree that the JCPA president should resign, I cannot emphasize enough the much larger work to be done in, as Reb Arthur writes, "rethinking of the way in which the American Jewish community operates, and how some of its major institutions depend on Big Money, not on real people -- their members." This need has existed for decades or longer and still confronts us today.&nbsp;&nbsp; --&nbsp; Stephen Jascourt<br></span></p>

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