UJA Federation president donates to pro BDS organization, and has extremist positions on Israel
Alisa Robbins Doctoroff, president of the UJA-Federation of New York, the largest local philanthropy in the world leads an organization whose mission is to “care for people in need, inspire a passion for Jewish life and learning, and strengthen Jewish communities in New York, in Israel, and around the world.” She was appointed to this position on July 1, 2013—and until today no one has researched her background. Unfortunately for her, that time is over.
Research reveals that Doctoroff is a donor to New Israel Fund (NIF) as revealed in their annual report. NIF is an extreme left-wing organization, committed to working against the interests of Israel worldwide. From funding Anti-Israel reports at the United Nations, to their recent financial support for terrorists and their families who killed Jews in Jerusalem while praying, NIF is an organization that funds countless issues which undermine the existence of the Jewish State. As the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Yoni Chetboun said “The main goal of the NIF is to undermine the Israeli Army, by knowingly financing left-wing Israeli groups that try to get young Israeli soldiers prosecuted for war crimes.”
The New Israel Fund openly supports BDS, as is reflected on their website. As NIF states, “NIF will thus not exclude support for organizations that discourage the purchase of goods or use of services from settlements”, and a review of their website reveals funding for numerous organizations engaged in BDS. (Which the UJA & JCRC willfully ignore when permitting NIF to march in the Israel Day Parade).
It goes on: Doctoroff noted on a recent trip to Israel, “one of the most impactful experiences on her Encounter trip was her home-stay with a Palestinian family.” She and the family’s son talked late into the night, poring over maps and talking about non-violent activism. This “non-violent” Palestinian activism harms the State of Israel.
Doctoroff, the wife of the former Deputy Mayor of New York, continues, “Seeing the common humanity speaks loudly to what needs to be done... Putting food on the table, taking kids to piano lessons, and providing for a better life are hard to do there—these are things that Palestinians in the West Bank struggle with daily and we take for granted.”
Encounters, an organization in which she partners, has an upcoming trip to Eastern Jerusalem – which will visit not one Jewish resident of the area, an agenda consistent with previous trips of the group which have been described as legitimizing a one-state solution. As a participant of a trip noted, “..Jewish participants spent the entire time listening to Palestinian views,”“...not one Palestinian, when discussing their long-term vision for the region, advocated a two-state solution, nor expressed any empathy for Jewish aspirations,” and that a Palestinian presenter said “in the absence of a one-state solution, there is going to be a bloodbath. In response to this, most participants clapped.”
And it goes on... Doctoroff is also a board member of the Social Venture Fund for Jewish-Arab equality and shared society, whom in their annual report discussed the need for “job placement and integration of Arab teachers into Jewish schools.”
There are surely many issues for Israeli and American Jews to tackle, but the president of the largest Jewish organization in North America should have more important concerns than Arab teachers in Jewish schools. Tellingly, she has not been an advocate for Jewish teachers in Arab schools to end the rampant Anti-Israel sentiment amongst Israeli Arabs, or eliminating the books and courses that teach anti-Semitism to Palestinian children.
Doctoroff has the right to these radical, extreme viewpoints but not in the name of American Jewry. The president of the UJA-Federation cannot and must not financially support BDS, “non-violent” Palestinian activism, and worse.
These viewpoints place Doctoroff well outside of the mainstream viewpoints of American Jewry. These radical, dangerous viewpoints have been rejected en masse by American Jewry.
At the 2014 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised actress Scarlett Johansson for her decision to continue representing Israeli carbonated beverage company SodaStream, which is located across the Green line. Johansson stepped down as a global ambassador for the human rights group Oxfam International, which had criticized her for serving as pitch woman for SodaStream—and was applauded throughout the Jewish world.
As Netanyahu said, “Everyone should know what the letters B-D-S really stand for: bigotry, dishonesty, and shame. And those who oppose BDS, like Scarlett Johansson, they should be applauded.”
There is no spin that UJA-Federation can provide for the simple fact that their president financially supports a number of different organizations that harm Israel. Undoubtedly, UJA will issue a statement that claims she supports many worthwhile causes throughout her career and that may be true. But, she must go, as her extreme viewpoints harm American and Israeli interests.
If UJA-Federation thinks Scarlett Johansson was right, if they support the Israel Defense Forces, and if they care about security, they must reject Alisa Doctoroff.
Ronn Torossian is a public relations executive and author of “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations.” He is a proud Jew who supports numerous charities.