The Jewish Federation and Israel


1. The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey is proud there is a Jewish state, the state of Israel, that reflects the yearnings of the Jewish people for millennia and embodies Jewish values and democratic ideals that we hold dear as American Jews.  


2. Our primary local efforts involve fostering connections between those living in the Heart of NJ and in Israel.  We seek to tell the Israel story, in all its potency and complexity, emphasizing why Israel is important to modern Jewish life, the contributions made by the people of Israel to the world, and how many of the struggles faced by Israel align with the concerns and values we share in the United States.  


3. Philanthropically, we help our extended Jewish family around the world whenever and wherever they are in need.  In particular, in Israel we focus on vulnerable populations including youth at risk and special needs individuals.


4. We recognize that the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is complicated, and that Israel exists in a very troubled neighborhood where issues related to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness can take on a different hue than we see in the Heart of NJ.  We respect that people inside and outside the Jewish community can have a variety of opinions and criticisms as to how best to address the situation.

 

5. The Jewish Federation is unwavering in its opposition to efforts to delegitimize the state of Israel as a Jewish, democratic state.  Calls for boycotts or divestment from companies or organizations doing business with Israel, describing Israel as an apartheid state, make for sensationalist propaganda while creating stumbling blocks to peace.

 

 

Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Jewish Federation at info@jewishheartnj.org.

Why Oppose BDS?

 

There is a growing and well-orchestrated effort known as BDS, "Boycotts, Divestment, Sanctions.” Its purported goal is to de-stabilize Israel economically as a tactic to address the Israel-Palestinian conflict. For many of those behind the effort, it is intended to de-legitimize the very idea of a Jewish state. 

While many well intentioned people seek an alternative to the current political impasse, and a number support boycotts or divestment from companies and organizations doing business with Israel or just in areas Israel captured in 1967, the objective of many behind the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) is the end of Israel as we know it as a Jewish state.  This is not a pathway to peace.  Consequently, the Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey opposes the BDS movement and seeks to counter its misleading messaging and practical effects.   


The current legislation under consideration in the state of New Jersey has a very specific scope – mandating that NJ not invest its pension/investment funds in companies or entities that boycott Israel.  This is one practical way to indicate that there should be limits to efforts to delegitimize and harm the state of Israel, recognizing that we as a community and a society respect the idea behind and the reality of today’s Israel despite all her imperfections and challenges.  


This approach does not impair anyone’s ability to criticize Israel or speak out against objectionable behaviors – nor does this impinge on anyone’s ability to say they do not support the idea of Israel as a Jewish state; they would just need to say so openly and without obfuscation, instead of hiding behind a movement like BDS with noble-sounding aims but disingenuous and harmful effect.


For more information about the BDS movement, click here.