A Generation of Woke Activists Threatens to Destroy Jewish Organizations from Within

“We’re all just waiting to get fired,” the CEO of a Jewish philanthropy told Felicia Herman, speaking of his fear—shared by many of his colleagues—that younger activists or online mobs will drive them out with accusations of sexism, racism, or the like. Drawing on conversations with several figures in American Jewish organizations, Herman concludes that these worries are warranted, and laments the consequences:

Like the story that another leader told me of being accused by an employee of promulgating “white-supremacy culture” for reminding staff that they need to work regular hours—such language turns a normal work conflict into a radioactive encounter. And it is unfortunately part of a broader assault on professionalism in the nonprofit sector that, if followed, will make it extremely difficult to run effective organizations.

And [then] there was the colleague leading a major organization who told me that this would be, he was sure, his last job in the Jewish communal world: no one would hire a middle-aged, straight, white guy, regardless of his experience or merit. While he—and I—want the doors of opportunity open to all, how is it in our collective best interest to replace the old discrimination with a new one, against people like him?

Herman has some suggestions about how to reverse the trend:

Reject the narrative that our institutions are systemically broken. Calls to right particular wrongs and specific examples of truly bad behavior have morphed into a discourse that asserts that Jewish institutions are “unsafe” hotbeds of sexist, racist, homophobic, and “ableist” discrimination. This is ridiculous. Of course our institutions aren’t perfect, but neither are they horrific. Jewish communal organizations and the people who work in them tend to be pretty liberal, politically and culturally, reflecting the dispositions of most American Jews, and they’re animated by a desire to help people who are suffering.

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Read more at Sapir

More about: American Jewry, Philanthropy, Political correctness

Condemning Terrorism in Jerusalem—and Efforts to Stop It

Jan. 30 2023

On Friday night, a Palestinian opened fire at a group of Israelis standing outside a Jerusalem synagogue, killing seven and wounding several others. The day before, the IDF had been drawn into a gunfight in the West Bank city of Jenin while trying to arrest members of a terrorist cell. Of the nine Palestinians killed in the raid, only one appears to have been a noncombatant. Lahav Harkov compares the responses to the two events, beginning with the more recent:

President Joe Biden called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to denounce the attack, offer his condolences, and express his commitment to Israel’s security. Other leaders released supportive statements as well. Governments across Europe condemned the attack. Turkey’s foreign ministry did the same, as did Israel’s Abraham Accords partners the UAE and Bahrain. Even Saudi Arabia released a statement against the killing of civilians in Jerusalem.

It feels wrong to criticize those statements. . . . But the condemnations should be full-throated, not spoken out of one side of the mouth while the other is wishy-washy about what it takes to stave off terrorism. These very same leaders and ministries were tsk-tsking at Israel for doing just that only a day before the attacks in Jerusalem.

The context didn’t seem to matter to some countries that are friendly to Israel. It didn’t matter that Israel was trying to stop jihadists from attacking civilians; it didn’t matter that IDF soldiers were attacked on the way.

It’s very easy for some to be sad when Jews are murdered. Yet, at the same time, so many of them are uncomfortable with Jews asserting themselves, protecting themselves, arming themselves against the bloodthirsty horde that would hand out bonbons to celebrate their deaths. It’s a reminder of how important it is that we do just that, and how essential the state of Israel is.

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Read more at Lahav’s Newsletter

More about: Jerusalem, Palestinian terror