The first order of business is to call for your signature, committing to boycott the services of Airbnb until it ends its anti-Semitic boycott of properties owned by Jews in Judea and Samaria, the “West Bank” occupied by Jordan from 1948-1967. Over one dozen organizations, plus experts and public figures, have called for all who oppose anti-Semitism to boycott Airbnb. Please sign and share this important petition.
People have asked, “how does the CJV have an impact?” This month, we can point to several cases where we affected public dialogue and perception.
The role of the CJV is to educate and promote policy choices which support ethics and values, and to support individuals who take and support positions which align with our own. Although our agenda is not political, it is obvious that our statements can have political ramifications. The larger we grow, the more prominent our voice, the more certain the results. During just the past month, we saw this happen in a House race, a Gubernatorial race, and with the White House as well.
Kevin McCarthy, R-CA, succeeded Eric Cantor to serve as House Majority Leader in 2014. So when he was accused of making an anti-Semitic statement, it could have affected several races besides his own, where he held and retained a commanding lead. The cause was his quickly-deleted tweet accusing George Soros, Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg of trying to “buy” the election for Democrats. No matter that all three are billionaire Democrats and were actively contributing to house races, or that Steyer is Episcopalian like his mother; Steyer nonetheless told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he considered the tweet “straight-up anti-Semitic” given that all three have Jewish ancestry.
For the record, McCarthy has been a good friend to Jewish interests. Together with Democrat Steny Hoyer of Maryland, McCarthy speaks regularly at AIPAC and leads freshman representatives on trips to Israel. We issued a release featuring a strong quote from McCarthy’s fellow Californian, CJV Western Regional Vice President Rabbi Dov Fischer. That release was provided to CBS News by McCarthy’s office when asked for comment about Steyer’s accusation, and Rabbi Fischer’s quote appeared in the resulting article. In the end, CBS was the only network (besides CNN itself) to run a news story about the accusation.
In the state of South Carolina, Governor Henry McMaster was seeking re-election when the Anti-Defamation League took him to task. One of South Carolina’s largest foster care services is provided through Miracle Hill Ministries, an organization of evangelical Christians. They work exclusively with other evangelicals, which runs afoul of new regulations at the Department of Health and Human Services, imposed at the end of the Obama administration. The governor asked for a waiver to permit Miracle Hill to continue licensed operation, and as Miracle Hill had turned away a Jewish woman who wanted to mentor through their program, the ADL called this “immoral” and discriminatory.
We responded with a rebuke of the ADL. We pointed out that Judaism requires that we seek to ensure every Jewish child is raised in a Jewish home and taught Judaism, and it is thus contrary to Jewish values for the ADL to deny this same religious liberty to others. Furthermore, terminating Miracle Hill’s license would directly harm hundreds of children in the foster care system — as has already happened in Philadelphia, where Catholic Social Services can no longer serve the public, and 35 children are now in group homes rather than foster homes as a result. [This is what the ADL calls “moral?”] This was probably the first time an Orthodox Jewish organization was featured on the front page of the Greenville News.
Unbeknownst to us, the governor’s office was concerned about the possible impact of the ADL’s accusation of anti-Jewish discrimination, especially with an upcoming gubernatorial debate. We heard later that after our release, the governor’s staff was able to breathe a little easier, knowing that they had a Jewish response to this incorrect charge. In the end, the entire issue was a footnote to the debate, and McMaster, as expected, won reelection.
And at the national level, the New York Times of Nov. 17 ran one of its typical pieces about the “uncomfortable reckoning” between “Mr. Trump’s rhetoric” and the fact that his own daughter and son-in-law are Jews. After pointing out that secular Jews “overwhelmingly vote Democratic and oppose Mr. Trump,” the article said that a White House press aide referred them to an Ami magazine poll that shows over 91% of Orthodox Jews rate the President “satisfactory” or “very satisfactory,” and over 82% would vote for him in 2020. The article did not mention who informed the White House Communications Office of this survey back in October — in the context of explaining that the CJV’s expressed opinions merely represent the predominant views of the broader Orthodox community.
Rabbis Lerner, Schonfeld, Pruzansky and I look forward to the President’s Chanukah Reception at the White House on Nov. 5.
Rabbinic Group Rebukes Anti-Defamation League for “Acting Contrary to Jewish Values”, Oct. 25
Coalition for Jewish Values Deplores Massacre in Pittsburgh, Oct. 27
Rabbinic Group Supports Rep. Kevin McCarthy After Accusation of Anti-Semitism, Oct. 29
Michael Oren Should Not “Politicize Anti-Semitism,” Rabbis Say, Oct. 30
Rabbis Decry AirBNB Anti-Semitic Delisting of Jewish Properties, Nov. 19
Rabbis Commend Rabbi Hendel and Family for Aiding Stranded in Athens, Nov. 22
Growing Coalition Calls for Boycott of Airbnb, Nov. 26
Rabbi Fischer’s Op-Eds:
This month, Rabbi Dov Fischer, our Western Regional Vice President, was extraordinarily prolific, writing in the American Spectator about numerous topics both before and after the election. Rather than repeating “Rabbi Dov Fischer in the American Spectator” each time, I have listed his contributions separately:
The Sordid Swordy Saudis: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Khashoggi?, Oct. 26
Darkness at NBC: The Reeducation of Megyn Kelly, Oct. 27
Here We Go Again: ‘It’s All Trump’s Fault’, Oct. 29
As the Caravan Approaches: There Probably Will Be Blood…, Oct. 31
One Last Look at the Old Polls While the New Ones Are All Over the Place, Nov. 5
Preaching to the Choir, Short & Sweet: Why It Matters That You Vote, Nov. 6
Why more Americans do not know the polite fellow who was not polite, Nov. 6
A Much, Much Better GOP Night Than Had Been Forecast, Nov. 7
Acosta’s Last Stand? Accosted by Acosta, Nov. 8
Trump’s Great Post-Election Offensive, Nov. 10
What the Florida Count Tells Us About How Trump Stole 2016 From Hillary, Nov. 12
Kavanatti #HeToo, Nov. 16
So Invite Him In, Nov. 17
Electoral Three-Card Monte: How The Democrats Stole Orange County, Nov. 19
Was Their Only Regret That They Had But One Life to Give for Liberal Memes and Mantras?, Nov. 21
Of Course We Have Obama Judges and Trump Judges, Clinton Judges and Bush Judges, Nov. 22
If his sole employment were as a columnist, this would be more than sufficient output. Considering that Rabbi Fischer is both a synagogue rabbi and law professor, it would defy belief were the proof not before us.
Everyone Else’s Op-Eds:
Exploding the Transgender Myth
Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer in The American Thinker, Oct. 25
Dr. Friedman, Please Don’t Try to Silence the Rabbis or Anyone Else
Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer in Times of Israel, Oct. 26
Bereishis And Science – No Conflict!
Rabbi Yaakov Menken in the Jewish Press, Nov. 1
Post-Pittsburgh: Liberals oppose arming houses of worship
Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer in The American Thinker, Nov. 2
The Politicization of Anti-Semitism
Rabbi Yaakov Menken in American Greatness, Nov. 7
Airbnb: More Dangerous Than Pittsburgh
Rabbi Yaakov Menken in American Greatness, Nov. 25
It has been an amazing month, and surely there is much more to come.