JCPA Update: The Women Shaking Up the Jewish Old Boys’ Club

September 21, 2023

Shana tovah! It’s been a busy first week of the new year here at JCPA:

We’re excited to share a new article in Haaretz on the “American women shaking up the Jewish old boys’ club” – featuring our own CEO Amy Spitalnick.

Amy’s hiring, per Haaretz, is “the latest instance of a young woman taking the reins of a key Jewish institution and helping steer the community, often bogged down by leadership abiding by an ‘old boy network’ mentality, into a more diverse and inclusive environment that better reflects the community itself.

And as Amy notes in the article, this is all the more crucial at a moment of rising anti-democratic extremism because “Jewish safety is deeply entangled with the safety of so many other communities and the vibrancy and health of our democracy.” JCPA’s work is fundamentally rooted in that recognition.

To that end, JCPA spoke out this week in response to comments by both former President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu during Rosh Hashanah, which attacked Jews who vote or peacefully protest against them as enemies of the U.S. and Israel.

Former President Trump’s claim that Jews who vote against him are “destroying” the U.S. and Israel follows a long history of antisemitic comments smearing the majority of Jewish Americans as “disloyal.” JCPA’s response was highlighted this week in the Washington Post, USA Today, CNN, and a number of other outlets.

And Prime Minister Netanyahu’s comments Sunday equating Jewish, pro-Israel, pro-democracy protesters with Iran and the PLO was wrong enough on its own – and, sadly, made more dangerous by the Prime Minister’s embrace of Elon Musk, just one day after Musk yet again promoted antisemitic conspiracy theories. Read more in the Forward.

Finally, the New York Daily News featured an op-ed from Amy on the mayor’s recent comments that asylum seekers will “destroy” New York City – comments that were celebrated by avowed neo-Nazis. As Amy writes, the mayor and all our leaders have a fundamental responsibility not to give license to hate.

We know that the fight for inclusive democracy is our fight as American Jews – and our safety, our future, and our values obligate us to make that clear. That’s precisely what we’ll continue to do at JCPA.

Wishing you an easy fast – g’mar chatima tovah – and a happy, healthy, and more just 5784,