US Secretary of State Tillerson Believes That We May Not Need an Envoy to Combat Anti-semitism

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson doesn’t think that having an envoy to combat anti-Semitism is the right way to go, saying the effort may be more effective without one. Personally, I think that he is wrong.

However, I also believe that there is another reason that Secr’y Tillerson may be finding it comfortable backing away from this earlier commitment.

We (meaning the American Jewish Community) aren’t REALLY taking this issue as seriously as we should.

Yes, we are doing a lot of complaining, and, yes, we are spending time in our meetings discussing what should be done, and, yes, we are implementing some programs, and, yes, we are pushing government agencies to do more, but this is nowhere near the level of serious and significant activity that is called for.

If we are really serious about the significant growth of anti-Semitism, then WE have to take the lead. Not through our (too) many individual local and national organizations, but as one unified American Jewish Community.

One person, or one organization, has to call for, organize, and run a summit of our top donors and institutional leaders and professionals. We need to put our most effective and influential leaders together in a room, lock the door, and not unlock it until some sort of SERIOUS plan is developed.

This, for sure, can be accomplished. And, when it is, I think Secretary Tillerson may come to a different conclusion.

About the Author
Paul Jeser born in the Bronx in 1945 has been a member of the Jewish Communal Service and a Jewish fundraising professional since 1972. Although not an ordained Rabbi, he organized and ran a Jewish Chaplaincy program in the United States Army in Augsburg, Germany (1969-71). Jeser was an officer with a drug rehabilitation center in Vietnam (1971-72) during which time he was awarded a Bronze Star. In May, 2006, the Hebrew Union College, Institute of Jewish Religion, presented Mr. Jeser the Sherut L’Am award in recognition of his decades of service to the Jewish People. He returned this award to HUC in protest to what he believed to be anti-Israel activities.