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Donor Fraud: Jewish Donor Dollars Support anti-Israel Speakers UPDATED

"Donor Fraud" is when money is raised from Jewish donors on the pretext that it will be used to support the Jewish community, and instead some of that money is used to actively promote those who viciously attack Israel, the Jewish state.

Ronit Jacobs of New Jersey was one of dozens who showed up outside the 92nd Street Y Thursday evening, July 11, to protest the Y's use of Jewish communal dollars to promote anti-Israel speakers.

Ronit Jacobs of New Jersey was one of dozens who showed up outside the 92nd Street Y Thursday evening, July 11, to protest the Y's use of Jewish communal dollars to promote anti-Israel speakers.
Photo Credit: Lauren Kunis

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PLEASE SEE UPDATE AT BOTTOM OF ARTICLE

Several dozen Jews converged on the sidewalk outside the 92nd Street Y Thursday evening, July 11, for the first in an ongoing series of protests that will be held in the same place, every second Thursday of every month.  The protests will continue until the 92nd Street Y responds to repeated requests that it stop using Jewish communal dollars to showcase and support speakers and events that demonize Israel.

Two of the leaders of the global anti-Israel movement were scheduled to appear at the Y this spring.  Roger Waters was scheduled to speak at the Y in April and Alice Walker spoke at the Y in May.  Among many other hostile acts towards Israel, Waters and Walker teamed up in an attempt to block the Israeli Philharmonic from appearing at Carnegie Hall in October, 2012.

Richard Allen, the head of JCC Watch, told The Jewish Press that for months he and others have been attempting to have a conversation with the leadership of the 92nd St Y about their hosting people at the forefront of the movement to commit political and economic warfare against Israel, and, to add insult to injury, using “hard-earned funds” contributed by Jews who are led to believe that money would be used to support the Jewish community.

But the folks who run the 92nd Street Y won’t even give them the courtesy of a return phone call, let alone a meeting.

Allen’s response is to publicly expose what he calls “donor fraud, perpetrated not only by the 92nd Street Y, but also by other Jewish organizations which raise money from Jewish donors on the pretext that the money would be used to benefit the Jewish community.  But instead, some of that money is actually being used to twist support against Israel, it is being used to actively promote attacks against the Jewish State.”

Many who came to protest what they claim is donor fraud carried Israeli flags and handed out flyers to people going into the 92nd Street Y.

The flyers described speakers who were recently invited to speak at the venue and who are leaders in what is known as the BDS movement – the movement which promotes the boycott of, divestment from and imposing sanctions against Israel. Hundreds of flyers were distributed Thursday night.

The flyers also described a new initiative by the group which they are calling the “Close Your Wallets” campaign:

It Is Time to “Close Your Wallets” to Jewish Organizations that Host & Promote Israel Boycotters. We’ll be there in blue and white on the second Thursday of every month to raise awareness of the 92 st Y’s history of hosting Leaders of the Boycott against Israel Movement. No Jewish funding for Boycotts Divestments and Sanctions against Israel!

Ronit Jacobs came with her daughter from New Jersey to join the protest.

“How can the Y host leaders of the BDS movement, which is a cult set on the destruction of Israel,” Jacobs asked Thursday night. “Not only do the BDS people seek to harm Israel, it is clear they don’t even really care about the ‘Palestinian’ people.  If they did,” Jacobs continued, “they would be protesting the horrible treatment of Palestinian Syrians and Palestinian Jordanians and Palestinian Lebanese.  But they don’t.  All these people really want is to rid the land of all Jews.”

Others who showed up to Thursday night offered additional evidence that the 92nd Street Y is insufficiently supportive of Israel.

Robert Sidi, a Manhattan attorney, pointed out to The Jewish Press that he had “reviewed the Y’s electronic calendar and the only Israel-related programming is Israeli folk dancing.  Now no one loves Israeli folk dancing more than I do,” Sidi said, “but it is a disgrace that the only thing about Israel the Y thinks is worthwhile is Israeli folk dancing.”

Helen Freedman, the executive director of Americans for a Safe Israel, and Judy Kadish, AFSI’s special projects director, were both at the protest Thursday night.

“Promoting hatred against Israel and Jews is not what public institutions should be used for,” Freedman said.  “And yet, when AFSI offered to speak, to provide facts about Judea and Samaria, the Y told us we were too political.”

“The Y needs to provide some oversight, some planning in their programming, they need to know when people they are bringing in to speak are against Jews and Israel,” Kadish added.

Others pointed out that speakers recently scheduled to speak, such as Roger Waters and Alice Walker, are not merely supporters of BDS, but are global leaders of the movement.

Allen said he believes the goals the group set were accomplished Thursday night.

“They [92nd Street Y administration] are aware of our positions and they know we aren’t going away.  We’ll be back, the second Thursday of every month, educating the Jewish community about the dangers of BDS that the 92nd Street Y is using Jewish communal dollars to support it.”

UPDATE: An astute reader brought to the attention of The Jewish Press the dearth of  programming of “Jewish Interest” at the 92nd Street Y, as evidenced by their own website.  This is a screen capture:

What you see when you click on programming for "Jewish Interest" at the 92nd St Y

What you see when you click on programming for “Jewish Interest” at the 92nd St Y

 

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About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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13 Responses to “Donor Fraud: Jewish Donor Dollars Support anti-Israel Speakers UPDATED”

  1. Sedition, pure and simple.

  2. the 92nd street Y needs a house cleaning with a big broom and pesticide. then start over again.

  3. I am pleased to see someone organizing this effort. Thank you.

  4. The Y has the right to give money to whomever they please. I really don't see the issue here.

  5. Gideon Jones says:

    You obviously don't because nobody said whom they should give the money to. They are arguing that if the Y is going to give the money to Anti-Israel and Anti-Jewish causes they should be open and honest about it and as a result those who disagree with the Y's choice should give their money elsewhere.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Alice Walker's personal background makes her anti-Semitism even more despicable.

    From Alice Walker's Wikipedia listing:

    In 1965, Walker met Melvyn Rosenman Leventhal, a Jewish civil rights lawyer. They were married on March 17, 1967, in New York City. Later that year the couple relocated to Jackson, Mississippi, becoming "the first legally married inter-racial couple in Mississippi".[33][34] They were harassed and threatened by whites, including the Ku Klux Klan. The couple had a daughter Rebecca in 1969. Walker and her husband divorced amicably in 1976.[35].

    In the mid-1990s, Walker was involved in a romance with singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman.[.

  7. Ltc Howard says:

    consult a lawyer. Get donors to sue for fraud. Get demand for complete accounting of all expenditures to make sure that there is nothing shady going on.

  8. Beverly Griffin shared a link.

    15 hours ago.

    The Louisville, Kentucky YMCA, which is made up of many branches, is Ultra liberal and politically active. I was employed there but they couldn't tolerate my conservatism, which I kept quiet about, but they spotted my Sarah Palin bumper st…See More.

    YMCA Kicks Out Pro-Life Students Attending Texas Abortion Debate.

    shar.es

    Students for Life of America brought in dozens of pro-life college students to join the Texas debate over late-term abortions that is drawing national attention.

  9. The Louisville, Kentucky YMCA, which is made up of many branches, is Ultra liberal and politically active. I was employed there but they couldn't tolerate my conservatism, which I kept quiet about, but they spotted my Sarah Palin bumper sticker on my car, and after that I was finally forced out. After leaving, I let them know, in no uncertain terms, my feelings, and G-d's, concerning their anti-Israel stand at the United Nations.

  10. Thirza Yates says:

    Great beverly, stand up for your rights.

  11. P.S. Thirza, That Is why I was promoted to an assignment in Israel.

  12. Thank you.Great News.Many Blessings.

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