Social justice and the Jews

Social justice and the Jews

I must take exception with the premise of Jared Silverman’s “What are the priorities of Jewish advocacy groups?” (July 27). He questions “…whether the organizations’ concerns with Jews and Israel are now secondary to a broader social justice agenda.” This question sets up a false dichotomy between Jewish causes and a “broader social justice agenda.” However, this is not a case of either/or but one of both/and.

History and experience have taught us that we Jews cannot survive as an island unto ourselves. Causes dear to our hearts, such as support for our homeland and fighting the scourge of anti-Semitism, depend on our ability to create mutually beneficial relationships with others, including governmental, societal, and interfaith leaders. The forging of such relationships is the foundation of American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) mission of building understanding of and support for Israel, and ensuring the security and well-being of Jewish communities in New Jersey, the U.S., and around the world. An example of this vital work was the recent historic visit to Israel by the prime minister of India, whose seeds were sown, in part, through years of AJC advocacy on behalf of some of India’s needs as well as Israel’s.  

At AJC, we believe that finding success in building a safer, more secure future for the Jewish people and Israel demands that we work locally, nationally, and globally not just on our own behalf, but on behalf of all humanity.

Rabbi David C. Levy
Regional director, AJC New Jersey


After reading Jared Silverman’s op-ed I wonder about the obstacles groups such as the ADL face to reach a larger and more diverse population with their message other than their limited number of subscribers.

Marvin Elmowitz
West Caldwell

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