A National Grass Roots Movement for Stronger Jewish Leadership

WHO WE ARE

We Are Grassroots Activists

After many years of fighting external enemies―anti-Israel professors, biased media, liberal churches, radical left-wing movements (Jewish groups among them), biased high school curricula, Islamic supremacists, and most recently, anti-Israel representatives in Congress―we have concluded that without the strong leadership and resources of major Jewish organizations the Jewish community cannot prevail.  We have tried for decades to work within mainstream Jewish organizations to counter Jew-hatred regardless of its source.  However, our voices have been ignored, suppressed and canceled by failing Jewish elites who control our institutions.

To win there must be a paradigm shift within the Jewish establishment!

WHAT WE DO

We Challenge Establishment Jewish Leaders

Jewish Americans are living in a state of siege.  Nearly every Jewish institution in America now employs security.  College campuses have become hostile territory for Jewish students.  Jews have been murdered in Pittsburgh, San Diego and Jersey City, stabbed in Boston, beaten on the streets of Brooklyn, bullied and harassed in the universities, defamed by The New York Times and CNN, and now maligned in the US Congress.

 

There are many irrational and hateful reasons for the growing hostility toward Jews in America.  These are not within our control, but how we respond to the assault is up to the community and the effectiveness of our response depends mostly on Jewish leadership.

 

The Jewish community cannot prevail against multiple and mounting assaults without strong leadership.

 

Too many Jewish leaders have failed to protect the community or stop the growing hostilities. 

We must challenge establishment Jewish leaders and donors who have supported and enabled them but failed to hold them accountable. 

 

Join us and help bring needed change to the Jewish Community!

FEATURED MEDIA ARCHIVE ITEMS

VIDEO

How Should We Respond to Antisemitism Now with Charles Jacobs

Charles Jacobs

Congregation L'Dor V'Dor

November 9, 2021, 5:00:00 AM

40m:20s

AUDIO

Podhoretz: “Jonathan Greenblatt is a Disgrace”

John Podhoretz

Commentary

July 30, 2021, 4:00:00 AM

1m:30s

PRINT

The American Jewish Establishment Has Failed, It’s Time to Replace It

Benjamin Kerstein

Algemeiner

August 13, 2021, 4:00:00 AM

​"Given the choice of engagement [with progressives] or sacrificing core values, we should stick with core values."

"This strategy of engaging progressive activists, I am sorry to say, has largely failed.  The attitudes toward Israel among progressives have markedly worsened in the past five years. And the prevailing ideological environment has become toxic and fundamentally illiberal.  Aligning ourselves too closely with the progressive movement, especially insofar as such alignment requires conformity to its pieties and credos, gives succor to an ideology that will ultimately harm us. It’s time for the mainstream Jewish community to do a strategic reset."

― David Bernstein, founder of Jewish Institute for Liberal Values

"A strategic reset for Jewish community relations and advocacy"

WHY CHALLENGE JEWISH LEADERSHIP?

The American Jewish community is under increasing ideological, political and now even physical assault.  Jewish institutions across the country are under siege requiring increased security.  Mainstream Jewish leadership has failedand continues to failto protect us from a rising tide of Jew-hatred.


The assault comes not only from white supremacists but also from left wing ideologues, Black radicals, and Islamic supremacists; yet mainstream Jewish leaders and establishment organizations have failed to understand the nature of the new Jew-hatred and are reluctant to fully acknowledge, much less vigorously combat, those sources of Jew-hatred for fear of being branded politically incorrect.  In fact, rather than fight, they prefer to ignore these threats.


The Jewish community deserves better.  We need strong, proud and courageous Jewish leaders who are not ideologically conflicted or morally confused, leaders who are unafraid to fight.

 

For over 30 years, grass-roots Jewish individuals and groups have exposed the actual nature and extent of “the new antisemitism;” yet despite these valiant efforts, it is clear now that the Jewish community cannot prevail against its external foes without courageous mainstream leadership and its access to resources.


Therefore, we have decided to focus our efforts on influencing mainstream Jewish leadership.

 

Our mission is to challenge Jewish leaders to prioritize the safety and welfare of the Jewish community over all other concerns.

Our organization, The Jewish Leadership Project (JLP) will:​

  1. Educate the community about the threats we face and the reasons our leaders are failing to protect us.

  2. Recruit and guide concerned Jews who wish to challenge their local Jewish leadership to change their strategies and tactics.

  3. Organize and coordinate these groups to challenge national Jewish leadership.

WHAT IS TO BE DONE?

  1. Declare a state of emergency and mobilize the community.

  2. Develop leaders willing to fight back.

  3. Prioritize Jewish communal resources to protect Jews first.

  4. Build alliances based on mutual interests and honest reciprocity.

  5. Educate the public about the nature of Jew-hatred.

  6. Publicly and aggresively deconstruct poisonous academic social theories that demonize Jews.

  7. Experiment with alternative solutions to find what is effective.

  8. Organize grassroot activists whose voices have been ignored, suppressed and canceled by failing Jewish elites who control our institutions.

HOW IS JEWISH LEADERSHIP FAILING?

  • Failed to respond aggressively to physical attacks on Jews,

  • Failed to act vigorously to combat demonization of Jews and Israel in the media, academia and culture,

  • Failed to recognize that anti-Zionism is Antisemitism,

  • Failed to mobilize and prioritize communal resources to protect the community,

  • Failed to protect Jewish education from being hijacked by political radicals.  The result has been a formation of antisemitic and anti-Israel cult-like organizations, preying on naïve, vulnerable, and ill-informed Jewish youth,

  • Failed to understand emerging threats from the Left, Radical Islam,certain parts of the African American community and Identity Politics (tribalism),

  • Failed to respond adequately to the explosion of Jew-hatred within leadership positions in Congress and academia,

  • Failed to understand human nature and lessons of history and, instead, adopted feel-good utopian fantasies,

  • Failed to understand the nature of political power,

  • Failed to promote true Jewish values in order to advance an ideological political agenda.

ARE WE ALLOWED TO QUESTION JEWISH LEADERS?

The Communal Obligation to Challenge Failed Leadership

American Jews are rapidly coming to understand that Jew-hatred is surging from a variety of sources and in ways unimaginable a decade ago.  A growing portion of the community believes that the Jewish communal leadership is failing to effectively combat this.  Yet, apart from a few outspoken writers, most Jewish leaders with few exceptions (such as ZOA) refrain from public criticism of failed Jewish leaders.

 

The central reason for this silence is the fear of Jewish division – classically cited as the reason for the destruction of the Second Temple.  Today, many Jews fear, that as a besieged minority, “washing our dirty laundry in public” can make us even more vulnerable.  Finally, there is the distaste of fighting with fellow Jews, some of whom may be personal friends with differing opinions.  These are the sentiments and beliefs that continue to shield Jewish leaders and organizations from legitimate criticism.  Anyone who is publicly critical runs the risk of being censured and canceled in the community.  The exception to this rule is criticism of Israel’s leaders and politicians, which is not only seen as fair game but is applauded in many quarters.  Often such criticism of Israeli leaders, who won their positions in open elections and can legitimately claim that they are doing what their constituents want, comes from American Jewish leaders who are not elected by the people they claim to represent, but are anointed by wealthy donors.

Judaism teaches that criticism and self-criticism are fundamental to decent societies, not only to correct and improve the character of individuals, but also because such practice leads to truth.  How can it be a Jewish precept that when we believe our leaders have trapped themselvesand usby following false ideas, that we should refrain from serious efforts to correct them?  In such circumstances refraining from criticism would be against our tradition and our interest.  And there is now too much at stake to be reticent.

HOW TO IDENTIFY FAILED JEWISH LEADERS?

You might be a failed Jewish leader if you believe that:

  1. Helping others and tikkun olam (“fixing the world”) are more important than protecting Jews,

  2. Fighting for Social Justice will reduce Jew-hatred,

  3. Blindly supporting immigrants from Jew-hating cultures poses no threat to Jews,

  4. Precious Jewish resources should be diverted to support non-Jewish causes,

  5. Jewish generosity and political support will be reciprocated,

  6. Progressive ideology is supportive of the Jewish community and Israel,

  7. Jewish values are always the same as progressive values,

  8. Jewish values are a political guide for dealing with Jew-hatred, a nuclear genocidal Iran and Jihad,

  9. Interfaith dialogue with people dedicated to the destruction of Israel will reduce Jew-hatred,

  10. American Jews are exempt from Jewish history,

  11. White supremacists and neo-Nazis are the biggest threats to the Jewish community,

  12. The big tent should include those who blame Israel,

  13. Israel is not so important for American Jewry,

  14. Israel's policies are the cause of Jew-hatred,

  15. Israel’s policies taint your moral purity,

  16. Applying a double standard to Israel is not a manifestation of Jew-hatred,

  17. Radical Arabs have given up their genocidal intent,

  18. Doing more of what has failed will bring the desired results.

HOW TO IDENTIFY STRONG JEWISH LEADERS?

At a time when the community is under assault, we need strong and effective Jewish Leadership.

WHO ARE STRONG JEWISH LEADERS?

  • Authentic Jewish leaders have a clear vision of how to build, defend and protect the community, including ensuring that Jews receive the rights, protection and recognition afforded to other minorities.

  • They place the safety of the Jewish community above any personal political ideology.

  • They understand  there is no future for American Jewry without a coherent Jewish identity and a strong Israel.

  • They understand that Jews need  allies, but also must  be strong and command respect.

  • They understand the nature of identity politics and related power dynamics. 

 

  • They are proud Jews rooted in reality, not utopian fantasies.​​

“What higher responsibility does a Jewish leader have than to protect fellow Jews?”

― Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch

Where

Nov 19, 2021

“In an era in which antisemitism again is tragically on the rise, we need to not just talk about the problem, we need to act.”

― David Harris

Where

Nov 18, 2021

"Prominent Jewish Americans need to use all the political influence, social capital, and institutional muscle they have to defend baseline Jewish interests in ostensibly liberal institutions. That hasn’t happened. Instead, in one institution after another, Jewish leaders — trustees and major donors, university presidents and academic deans, senators and representatives, CEOs and board directors — have, to paraphrase Lenin, sold the rope from which their enemies will hang them."

― Bret Stephens

Where

Sep 1, 2021

“We were not created in order to teach morals and manners to our enemies. Let them learn these things for themselves. We want to hit back at anybody who harms us. … When we are in a position where — through no fault of our own — physical force dominates … the blackest of all characteristics is the tradition of the cheapness of Jewish blood, on the shedding of which there is no prohibition and for which you do not pay.”

Ze’ev Jabotinsky

Where

"If I am not for myself, who will be for me?"

― Rabbi Hillel the Elder

Where

"If I am not for myself, who will be for me?"