Last week, I wrote a criticism of Boston’s Jewish Community Center (JCC) for deciding to show the movie “The J Street Challenge.” The basis of my criticism was and is that the film is an attack on another important organization in the Boston Jewish Community and not a part of the critical conversation regarding Israel’s security and future. The film will certainly be shown locally and community members are able to view the film if they choose. My criticism was that one member of the family was creating a platform for attacking another family member.
Having voiced criticism of this one decision, I think it is important to recognize and acknowledge the JCC’s commitment to a diverse and vibrant Boston Jewish Community. JCC is typically a place where diverse views are expressed, and JCC has promoted a broad conversation about Israel, conducted in a civil and respectful manner, that recognizes that supporters of Israel hold different views of how to protect her Jewish and democratic character. The JCC is reflective of a generally tolerant and inclusive Boston Jewish Community. While the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish organizations foolishly and sadly voted to exclude J Street from its membership, Boston’s JCRC was the first, and still only one of two, to welcome J Street into its family of agencies.
I was disappointed that Boston’s JCC agreed to host a film whose major purpose was to discredit a sister Jewish organization, and I said my piece. That does not detract from my overall respect and gratitude for the work of the JCC, and its professional and lay leadership.
Alan D. Solomont, Dean
U.S. Ambassador (Retired)
Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, Tufts University