Jexodus, We Hardly Knew Ye: Right-wing Jewish Movement Changes Name to Exodus

Spokesperson Elizabeth Pipko tells New York Times her group is in it for the long haul, saying she likes a challenge when asked about getting Jewish millennials to vote for the Republican Party

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Exodus Movement spokesperson Elizabeth Pipko discussing her attempts to bring millennial Jews to the Republican Party, March 21, 2019.
Screengrab of Exodus Movement spokesperson Elizabeth Pipko discussing her attempts to bring millennial Jews to the Republican Party, March 21, 2019.Credit: Screengrab from One America News Network

Jexodus is so yesterday. The right-wing Republican movement calling on young Jews to abandon the Democratic Party rebranded itself Thursday, less than two weeks after bursting onto the public scene after being featured in a tweet by U.S. President Donald Trump.

After much ridicule for the redundant “J” in a name that already relates to the Jewish people, the group will henceforth be known as the Exodus Movement (although maybe check back in a couple of weeks to see if another letter has been removed).

Elizabeth Pipko, the 23-year-old “international model, Trump 2016 campaign staffer, poet, patriot and fiercely proud millennial Jew,” remains the group’s media spokesperson (and possibly sole member).

She told The New York Times Thursday that she was fully aware of the enormity of the task of trying to convince young U.S. Jews to cross over the political aisle to the Republican Party.

“We’re obviously super-realistic and aware that overwhelmingly, the Jewish people have supported Democrats over the years,” Pipko told the paper, adding, “I love a challenge.”

She also shared her strategy on how the Exodus Movement will persuade Jewish voters. She told the Times she plans to use extensive microtargeting to find “persuadable Jews” in eight states — Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Michigan and Minnesota — where, the paper reported, the Jewish community makes up more than 2 percent of the vote in a total of 31 House districts.

Pipko and her original Jexodus movement found themselves thrust into the limelight on March 12 when Trump tweeted a full quote from her that declared: “Jewish people are leaving the Democratic Party. We saw a lot of anti Israel policies start under the Obama Administration, and it got worsts & worse. There is anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party. They don’t care about Israel or the Jewish people.”

The new Exodus Movement website describes the group as “a liberation movement for American Jews eager to stand up for themselves and their Jewish identity.”

Explaining more, the website declares: “We are proud Jewish Millennials who reject the hypocrisy, anti-Americanism, and anti-Semitism of the rising far-left.

“Progressives, Democrats, and far too many Jewish organizations have taken our support for granted for far too long. We are now determined and unafraid to speak for ourselves.

“We’re done standing with allegedly supportive liberals who consistently side with our enemies, and disregard our values and beliefs,” it concludes.

In what seems like a lifetime ago, the original Jexodus movement formally made its debut at the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this month. Its genesis was hailed across right-wing websites and blogs, but the old incarnation officially ended on Wednesday when the plug was pulled on the website.

Jexodus/Exodus is the brainchild of Jewish Republican activist-lobbyist Jeff Ballabon, who is known for his work on the Republican Party’s Israel-specific platform.

But it is Pipko who remains the movement’s main figure. “Jexodus was an idea, it was a concept,” she told One America News Network on Thursday. “But now we’ve started the Exodus Movement, which is an official entity and we can now get donations, we can start to do what we want to do. … We can function as an official organization and try to make the impact we want to make in 2020 and beyond.”

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