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Levi Strauss jeans

A 2024 report by the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP) titled, “National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP) – Antisemitism, Anti-Americanism, Violent Extremism and the Threat to North American Universities” identified NSJP’s main fiscal sponsor to be the Westchester Peace Action Committee (WESPAC), which started as a civil rights advocacy group in the 1970s, and today is largely responsible for the pro-Hamas group’s activities, providing it with a legitimate façade for its actions.

According to the ISGAP report, WESPAC sponsors the following organizations, all of them virulent anti-Israel and antisemitic:

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1. National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP)
2. US Palestinian Community Network (USPCN)
3. Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM)
4. Adalah New York
5. International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN)
6. Palestine Freedom Project (PFP)

At the top of WESPAC’s grant providers, ISGAP lists the Covina, California-based Bafrayung Fund, to the tune of $300,000. Next on the list is the Elias Foundation, dedicated to the promotion of “progressive ideas,” which forked over only $100,500.

On Tuesday, the Daily Beast revealed the identity of the woman behind the Bafrayung Fund. She is Bay Area resident Rachel Gelman, 33, a scion of the family that owns the Levi Strauss company.

Levi Strauss, who founded the company in 1853, was never married, and when he died on September 26, 1902, in San Francisco, his estate of about $30 million (equivalent to $855 million in 2023), was inherited by Levi’s nephew’s only child, Elise Fanny Stern, who married Walter Haas, whose descendants are the current owners of Levi Strauss & Co.

According to the Daily Beast, the Bafrayung Fund’s finances are derived from two primary sources: Gelman’s personal contributions and the Morningstar Philanthropic Foundation. The latter is the private charitable organization established by Gelman’s parents, who are prominent donors to the Democratic Party. They own a group of publications targeting Jewish communities along the Eastern seaboard. Additionally, they have maintained a longstanding involvement in organizations that cultivate American-Israeli relations, and they became engaged during their time on a kibbutz. The Gelman family has ranked among the biggest bankrollers of the Birthright Israel Foundation, which sponsors free trips to Israel for Jewish young adults.

However, Birthright and pro-Israel donations aside, concurrently, the Gelman family has provided substantial financial backing to the Bafrayung Fund, the charitable organization established by their daughter Rachel. Between 2019 and 2022, the most recent year with available disclosures, the Gelmans contributed $3,470,000 to the Bafrayung Fund. These funds originated from the Morningstar Philanthropic Foundation, the same vehicle through which the family supports the Birthright Israel Foundation.

Bafrayund in turn paid out via WESPAC $60,000 to the Palestinian Youth Movement and $40,000 to the Arab Resource and Organizing Center. The Palestinian Youth Movement extensively has been the force behind numerous pro-Hamas encampments on US campuses, the flagship of which was at Columbia University. The Arab Resource and Organizing Committee, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, has maintained an active presence at protest encampments on nearby state university campuses, including the University of California, Berkeley, and most recently, the University of California, San Francisco.

The Palestinian Youth Movement and the Arab Resource and Organizing Committee were listed as two of the “convening organizations” responsible for organizing the People’s Conference for Palestine, which took place in Detroit this past weekend. This was the event in which Representative Rashida Tlaib criticized President Biden, labeling him an “enabler” of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Bafrayung Fund has provided $298,000 in funding to Critical Resistance, an organization that has taken part in multiple events expressing support for Hamas. These events include protests that temporarily disrupted operations at the San Francisco International Airport, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, and the Port of Oakland.

Finally, Rachel Gelman has contributed thousands of dollars to two of the most vile anti-Israel Congress members, Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.