New Israel Fund logo 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Jewish Agency on Thursday denied reports earlier this week that it had been among the sponsors, along with the New Israel Fund, of an event at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan on Wednesday, “Love, Hate and the Jewish State 4.0: Airing the Dirty Laundry.”
Jewish Agency spokesman Haviv Rettig Gur said that neither the agency nor its American arm MAKOM had been involved in the event, which Rabbi David Rosenn, chief operating officer at the New Israel Fund, described as a “highly successful program that engages young people in a serious discussion of the complexities of Israeli society.”
“MAKOM and the Jewish Agency had nothing to do with this event, not in funding or in planning.
“At the same time, we have nothing against the event and reject the assertion that we could have been ‘hoodwinked’ by political parties,” Rettig Gur said.
“Simply put, we do not play intra-Jewish politics. Our chairman is a former Likud cabinet minister, our deputy chairman a former Meretz mayor. We are, in fact, the only Jewish organization where all parties and all streams are equally at home, engaged together in the project of strengthening the Jewish people and connecting them to Israel.”
Original listings for the event, including the link to buy tickets, stated that the event was being jointly sponsored by the New Israel Fund and MAKOM.
Subsequent listings, however, removed MAKOM’s name, after JCC Watch posted that according to the North American director of MAKOM, Rami Wernik, the organization was not sponsoring the event. JCC Watch’s founder, Richard Allen, said that “the Jewish Agency was hoodwinked” into lending its name to an event with a “bash Israel agenda.”