Thursday, March 07, 2024

  • Thursday, March 07, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon

There is a worrying trend among Jewish community centers in the US. 

While they used to be unabashedly Zionist, they have been removing that aspect of their identities from their mission statements.

In 2004, the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco said their mission is to "enrich life, build Jewish identity, promote the development of meaningful bonds within our community, and facilitate connections with Israel and Jews worldwide."

Today, its "seven core values" do not include anything about Israel.

The mission of the Westside Jewish Community Center of Los Angeles included "fostering a strong connection with Israel" in the past. 

The mission of the Stroum Jewish Community Center near Seattle  used to be "to ensure Jewish continuity, to support Jewish unity, to enrich Jewish life, and to participate in and promote the well-being of the Jewish and general community and the people of Israel." 

The Valley of the Sun JCC in Phoenix used to say that one of its core values was "We are a connection to Israel."

Today, its values page does not say a word about Israel.

While the Atlanta JCC did not mention Israel in its mission statement, it was unabashedly Zionist, with many events and fundraisers for Israel in the early 2000s. Now, while it does feature various Israel-related lectures and Hebrew lessons, the Zionism is much more subdued.

Of course, this is not a comprehensive list. There are over a hundred JCC in the US and Canada. However, I'm not seeing too many counterexamples of JCCs that still incorporate Israel in their values and mission statements.  Indianapolis JCC is one of the rare ones, still sayings it is "Incorporating our Jewish values and ties to Israel." The Delaware JCC says they "enrich our members and families of all backgrounds about Jewish life, culture, and Israel. " But they seem to be in the minority.

The minimization and erasure of Israel programming and Zionism from local JCCs is most concerning. There are precious few places where proud Zionists can gather without concern. Public spaces like libraries are becoming more and more hostile. Jewish community centers should be a haven for people to enjoy and celebrate their love of the Jewish state, but that role seems to be disappearing.  

Many JCCs are associated with local Jewish Federations. People should be asking questions if their own local JCCs have been distancing themselves from Israel - while their idea of "tikkun olam" is to host Purim drag queen bingo.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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