Category Archive for: Op-Eds and Blogs

Our Role in Combating White Nationalism, a message from David Bernstein, President and CEO of JCPA

by Haya Luftig

The “Unite the Right” violent rallies in Charlottesville were a jarring wake-up call to many Americans and certainly the Jewish community. For many years, such hate rallies were rare and poorly attended. White nationalism seemed to be a small, mostly hidden force operating on the societal margins and under the anonymity of social media. Given…



Intersectionality excludes and includes. Jews must learn the difference.

by Haya Luftig

By David Bernstein Published in JTA   Last year, I wrote an opinion piece for JTA about a term and a trend few Jews over the age of 30 had ever heard of: intersectionality. Coined in the late 1980s, intersectionality posits that various forms of oppression — racism, sexism, classism, ableism and homophobia — are all interconnected.  According to the…



From Programming to Engagement in Community Relations

by Administrator

A Hillel director at a large Hillel told me about the announcement he made to his board: “We are out of the programming business.”  Several Board members were aghast. “How can a Hillel not do events?” they wondered out loud. “I am sure we will continue to do some events, but our goal is to…



Media Hatchet Job On Chabad Is Troubling

by Haya Luftig

      BY DAVID BERNSTEIN May 2, 2017, 2:35 pm When “ultra-Orthodox” Jews are targeted, do non-Orthodox Jews take it sufficiently seriously? A few weeks ago, Politico published an article, “The happy go lucky Jewish group that connects Trump and Putin,” that suggested nefarious connections among Chabad, Putin and Trump. It failed to make…



Passover: The Community Relations Holiday

by Haya Luftig

In many ways, Passover is the ultimate community relations holiday. In my years of serving as a professional in the field, I’ve organized or attended more community relations Seders than I can count. The first was a black-Jewish Seder held in the DC area. I can still feel the shivers from hearing the Gospel singer’s…



Eight Things to Keep in Mind when Issuing a Public Statement

by Haya Luftig

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

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

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…



Dinner in Israel. You’re Invited!

by Administrator

We just returned from an inspiring JCPA leadership mission to Israel, and my head is still spinning. Participating in a high level JCPA mission can be a bit like plopping yourself in the middle of somebody else’s heated family dinner discussion. You hear familiar tropes. You instinctively agree with some comments and disagree with others.…



Eight Challenges for Community Relations in the Wake of the Election

by Administrator

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,…