Letter: JCRC on JStreet event sponsorship

JCRC co-sponsored an October 21 forum featuring J Street Executive Director, Jeremy Ben-Ami, and distinguished former member of the Knesset and former Consul General of Israel to New York City, Ambassador Colette Avital. This co-sponsorship flowed from JCRC’s belief in the importance of a broad community conversation on Israel, and from its role as facilitator of such conversation among those subscribing to JCRC’s Common Ground Principles.

The aforementioned Statement of Principles, adopted unanimously by a JCRC Council vote in April of 2010, states:

‘In hopes of nurturing and encouraging a broad community conversation about Israel, we share the following principles of common ground, and affirm our commitment to:

• The right of Israel to exist as the Jewish state.

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• The safety and security of Israel and its people.

• Full and open discussion on the range of issues concerning Israel.

• Civility in language and in behavior in dialogue about Israel, even in the face of disagreements’

JCRC requires that sponsoring organizations requesting JCRC co-sponsorship of events focusing on Israel, inform us of their adherence to these principles. J Street did so.

It was in that context that JCRC co-sponsored a program in which the two speakers presented their respective viewpoints. It was made clear in the publicity for the event, as well as through the detailed explanation by the moderator in opening the event, that co-sponsorship of the program did not imply endorsement of the views presented.

As part of our continuing effort to provide the local Jewish community access to a variety of views and to encourage civil dialogue, the JCRC welcomes collaboration with additional organizations and speakers across the spectrum of opinion, who subscribe to our common ground principles.

Gerry Greiman, President

Batya Abramson-Goldstein, Executive Director