Monday, March 1, 2010

[Crossposted at JStreetJive.]

The Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston is one of the nation's highest funded charitable groups. With assets approaching half a billion dollars and annual revenues approaching two hundred million dollars, they are chartered to dole out lots of money to groups whom they deem worthy causes. In addition to providing valuable social services to local Jewish and non-Jewish communities, one of their central activities, they claim, is support for israel.

Their mission statement declares:

"Our Israel agenda will focus on advocacy, connection and impact."

I find that statement quizzical, to say the least, but designed to accommodate groups like The Workmen's Circle (whose support for Israel has been demonstrated by hosting any and every anti-Israel group they can muster) and the likes of J Street and The New Israel Fund. The NIF received close to $42,000.00 in 2007.

Each year the Boston CJP provides cash grants in compliance with federal regulations governing the operations of a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

We thought you might be interested to see just who receives the CJP's largess, ostensibly in keeping with that organization's strong support for Israel. For the latest reporting period, here are some of those recipients:

  • The American Friends Service Committee
  • Democracy Now!
  • The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
  • The Tides Foundation
  • Media Matters
  • The New Israel Fund
  • Brit Tzedek v'Shalom
  • Physicians for Social Responsibility
  • The Workmen's Circle
  • Amnesty International

Many of these organizations have been highly critical of Israel - to say the least - some even have questioned Israel's right to exist as a Jewish State. To be fair, the CJP has also awarded grants to strongly Zionist groups. And yet, contributions to organizations like Media Matters and The Tides Foundation, whose financial clout and animus towards Israel are well known, should raise some significant eyebrows for an organization that is so self-avowedly "Pro Israel". Through George Soros' affiliated non-profits like, The Open Society Institute, The Center for American Progress and through his associate, Peter Lewis, Media Matters has plenty of money to spend bashing Israel. Read a recent Media Matters piece by M.J. Rosenberg on the infamous Goldstone Report condemning Israel at the U.N:

"Did Congress condemn Israel for its disproportionate use of force (1400 Palestinians killed including 320 children vs. 13 Israelis)? Nope.

On the contrary, the House condemned the distinguished Justice Richard Goldstone, who wrote the United Nation's report on Gaza, for daring to criticize Israel's conduct. It called on the Obama administration to do everything it could to suppress the United Nations report! Only 36 representatives voted "no."

CJP awarded Media Matters $200,000.00 in 2007.

Do contributions (no matter how small an amount) to organizations like the Unitarian Universalist Association or The American Friends Service Committee comport with CJP's stated claim to support Israel? This week the UUA church in Cambridge will host an Israel ApartheidWeek event. The AFSC, long a champion of Palestinian "resistance" while "disagreeing" with Iran's Jew-hating President, put out this statement in reaction to his Holocaust denial and threats to destroy Israel:

"The AFSC will continue to reach out to the Iranian people and their leaders and pursue dialogue on the basis of what we believe to the shared value that affirms that of God in each of us."

Democracy Now! is the media vehicle for Amy Goodman, a longtime Israel-hater, who never saw a Palestinian act of "resistance" she couldn't relate to.

The Tides Foundation, another George Soros-affiliated group, has been generous with CAIR (The Council for American Islamic Relations) many of whose officials are serving prison sentences for aiding HAMAS and which was recently named an unindicted co-conspirator in the successful prosecution of The Holy Land Foundation in Texas.  Tides also funds the National Lawyers' Guild, whose anti-israel positions are legendary.  Read more...

Physicians for Social Responsibility is a global non-profit which has demonstrated a particularly nasty attitude towards the Jewish State. While highlighting Israel's supposed "human rights violations", the group routinely whitewashes Palestinian violations such as the use of ambulances to ferry weapons and combatants.

As we reported earlier, The New Israel Fund was predictably silent on the current offensive of Israel Apartheid Week as was their parent, J Street.

Should the CJP's putative "support" for Israel extend to financing groups that have demonstrated a long-standing animus towards The Jewish State?

Who's minding the store at 126 High Street?

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Guess Who's Dining at CJP's Trough? [Hillel].

TrackBack URL for this entry:

» CJP Follow Up [Hillel] at the blog Solomonia

[The following is crossposted from JStreetJive and is a follow up to the previous post, Guess Who's Dining at CJP's Trough?] A number of readers have inquired about DAF's (Donor Advised Funds) in relation to targeted grants bestowed by the... Read More

» What We Should Expect From CJP [Hillel] at the blog Solomonia

[Crossposted from JStreetJive.] According to the latest communication from Boston's Combined Jewish Philanthropies, in response to our discovery that that organization had funded such overly anti-Israel groups as the Unitarian Universalist Association ... Read More

When we did our original analysis of The Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston cash grants to organizations that demonstrated extreme animus towards Israel (Guess Who's Dining at CJP's Trough?, What We Should Expect From CJP) -- and in some... Read More

You've been reading it here and at JStreetJive. Now readers of Boston's print paper, The Jewish Advocate, are getting an eye-full of the news of CJP's funding of controversial groups (Once again, those previous posts are: Guess Who's Dining at... Read More

As if the Boston CJP/JCRC follies over their on again-off again support for Israel weren't bizarre enough (see here, here and here), we now have a story of unrequited love. In its inexcusable funding practices (via a CJP Donor... Read More


This is quite awful. However, it is possible that some of these grants are made through CJP's Donor Advised Funds, at the direction of the donors. If so, CJP is not using funds that it raises from the community to support these groups, but acting on donor input.

It is important to dig a little deeper to determine if this is the case. It would be a scandal of first order if, in fact, CJP is making these grants from community funds.

Great questions. As for Donor Advised Fund giving, any IRS recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit is legit, but, keep in mind CJP's own proviso:

"CJP reserves the right to reject grant recommendations for purposes contrary to its mission or to organizations that fail to maintain proper standards of financial oversight or accountability. CJP may request the return of grants that are discovered to be in conflict with its mission, or in violation of the guidelines in this section."

Remember, that federal reporting form 990 (available for viewing at the CJP website) carries CJP's name, not the individual grantor of the DAF. CJP's Board reserves the right (and obligation,some might say), as stated, to reject targeted grants.

It's up to you and the community to decide whether the cash award to The American Friends Service Committee or the other listed recipients are "in conflict with CJP's mission." I think they are.

Incredible. There should be a diagnostic category in the DSM-V for the singular psychopathology this sort of thing evidences. It's so "Jewish" (note scare quotes) to support those whose interests are so opposite to your own and those of your community.

What explanation does the CJP offer? Does it benefit from managing those donor directed funds?

That's quite rogue's gallery that Hillel has presented. And now that J Street and Brit Tzedek have formally merged, J Street not only recieves funds but also has a seat at the table for policy making. It's clearly time for JCRC to sort things out. In the spirit of inclusion and to balance their Israel Advocacy Advisory Council, JCRC should set up Israel-Bashing Advisory board.

Clearly, Brit Tzedek / J Street should move from the pro-Israel advisory council to this new board. Workmen's Circle, who organized a Birthright Unplugged trip last year would be welcome. And there would finally be a place at High Street for Marty Federman and Jewish Voice for Peace. Who knows? They might even find room for sympaticos like Joachim Martillo's wife Karin Friedemann. Why shouldn't the voices of Jewish BDSniks have a say too?

But Nappy draws the line at funding the UU Service Committee and the AFSC. Let the goyim fund their Israel-bashing wings themselves.

Someone recently pointed out (in a comment here?) that the AFSC tried to help Jews during the Shoah. That's all fine. It's also true that the USA and the USSR were allies in WWII, that socialist Israel was the darling of the left during Israel's early years—Stalin was among the first to recognize the new state, and The Weavers had a big hit in 1950 with Tsena, Tsena. But times change, and since Israel had the audacity to prevail against her enemies' war of annihilation against her in '67, the leftists who supported the Soviet-armed proxies in '67 and '73 have been singing a different tune.

No doubt these sectarian service committees do other things that are commendable, but they are sectarian, as is our Jewish federation. Of course CJP/JCRC needs to be involved in the larger community of which we are part, but the goyim should pay for their own antisemitic campaigns. It's enough that we support Jewish antisemites; do we need to fund theirs too?

This is an outrage and a disgrace.

"Syme: It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. You wouldn't have seen the [Newspeak] Dictionary 10th edition, would you Smith? It's that thick. [illustrates thickness with fingers] The 11th Edition will be that [narrows fingers] thick. Winston Smith: So, The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect? Syme: The secret is to move from translation, to direct thought, to automatic response. No need for self-discipline. Language coming from here [the larynx], not from here [the brain]" -1984 (film)


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