Are Jewish Community Centers the New Battleground Over Israel's Legitimacy?

Right-wingers are calling for donations to be withheld from organizations that hold arts events which are, in their view, not nationalist enough.

Nathan Guttman
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Nathan Guttman

Jewish Community Centers, known for their fitness facilities and child care services, are increasingly becoming the target of protesters taking issue with the artistic programs they offer.

In Washington, a new grassroots organization is calling on the local federation to adopt guidelines that will withhold funding from the JCC if the centers theater puts on plays that denigrate Israel and undermine its legitimacy. In New York City, a group called JCCWatch is taking aim at the JCC in Manhattan for partnering with such groups as the New Israel Fund, BTselem and Human Rights Watch in supporting the Other Israel Film Festival.

Protest against the New Israel Fund, Tel Aviv, July 16, 2010.Credit: Alon Ron

In the middle of this fight stand the Jewish federations, the communitys philanthropic backbone, torn between their wish to maintain the artistic freedom of the communitys beneficiary agencies and their need to satisfy angry donors who control the purse strings.

Read the rest of this article at The Forward.



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Prime Minister Yair Lapid, this month.

Lapid to Haaretz: ‘I Have Learned to Respect the Left’

“Dubi,” whose full name is secret in keeping with instructions from the Mossad.

The Mossad’s Fateful 48 Hours Before the Yom Kippur War

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer