Category Archive for: David’s Blog

Eight Things to Keep in Mind when Issuing a Public Statement

by Haya Luftig

  • Posted on March 23, 2017

By Abby Porth and David Bernstein Two weeks ago, we co-authored “Nine Reasons Jewish Organizations Should Issue Fewer Statements.” The response was overwhelmingly positive. “Finally, someone said it out loud,” we heard from more than one person. But several people asked us “what criteria do you suggest for issuing a public statement?” As we argued…



Nine Reasons Jewish Organizations should Issue fewer Public Statements

by Haya Luftig

  • Posted on March 17, 2017

By David Bernstein and Abby Porth Since the Presidential election, there has been unceasing demand on Jewish organizations to issue public statements condemning or condoning this or that policy, nominee, comment made by a public official, and – remarkably – even this or that other Jewish organization for their accomplishment or failure to do one…



A Few Observations About Secretary of State John Kerry’s Speech

by Haya Luftig

  • Posted on December 28, 2016

By David Bernstein Prior to Secretary of State Kerry’s remarks today, rumors were swirling that the Secretary would formally recognize a Palestinian State. That did not come to pass Instead, Kerry delivered an impassioned, 70 minute exhortation that the two parties must reach a two state solution. Time and facts on the ground are threatening such a…



Eight Challenges for Community Relations in the Wake of the Election

by Administrator

  • Posted on November 9, 2016

By David Bernstein Like many (ok, all) of you, I’m struggling to make sense of the election. How should the community relations network respond over time? Here are eight challenges (and opportunities?) that emerge from the 2016 contest: Possible changes to the status of many social policy issues, such as health care, immigration, reproductive rights,…



Why we Must Strengthen the Community Relations Field

by Administrator

  • Posted on October 20, 2016

JCPA recently performed a scan which revealed that today, at least 63 JCRC directors have been on the job for less than two years. That’s actually not unusual in today’s Jewish non-profit world. Turnover abounds. It does serve as a reminder, however, of the need to continually build our field and strengthen our connections to…



Four Reasons To Re-engage In The Civil Rights Movement

by Administrator

  • Posted on October 7, 2016

NEW YORK (The Jewish Week)October 6, 2016 The Movement for Black Lives platform calling Israel an apartheid state guilty of “genocide” sent shock waves through the Jewish community. It should not have come as a surprise. I remember seeing scattered signs proclaiming “From Palestine to Ferguson” at protests in Ferguson, Mo. last year. I naively thought…



Compatible Impulses

by Administrator

  • Posted on September 21, 2016

We all love to cite the great sage Hillel: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when?” I doubt there’s a quote in the Jewish cannon that better captures the essence of Jewish community relations. The first statement…



Take the Deep Dive

by Administrator

  • Posted on September 8, 2016

One mistake we often make in intergroup relations is that we reach out to a potential target group, such as an African-American organization we’ve never worked with, and immediately try to form a joint agenda. We hastily push our own interests on the other group and don’t take the time to know their agenda or…



The Dilemmas of Fighting Anti-Semitism

by Haya Luftig

  • Posted on August 18, 2016

To go public or not? Whenever someone does or says something anti-Semitic or anti-Israel or both, we face a quandary: should we speak out or hold our tongue?   One school of thought says “sunlight is the best disinfectant” and that we must always publicly condemn such actions and statements, lest we allow such sentiments to…



Don’t believe their hype: BDS is a marginal phenomenon

by Haya Luftig

  • Posted on July 14, 2016

JTA Op-Ed: July 13, 2016 5:36pmBy David Bernstein NEW YORK (JTA) — Ever since the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel began picking up steam three years ago, its proponents have brazenly declared the movement’s inevitable triumph. In April, for example, a pro-divestment group at the University of Chicago issued a statement proclaiming that by…