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AJC Shabbat Table Graphic

AJC Shabbat Table

This week, in AJC’s Shabbat Table, we prepare to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, a festival to remember the Children of Israel’s travels through the desert. While spending time outdoors in temporary huts often reminds us of the fragility of life, that idea has been turned upside down this year by the global pandemic: as a refuge from coronavirus, the outdoors has become more secure than the indoors. We also provide some tools for discussing what lessons we can learn from two different American politicians – one on the right, another on the left – who drew fire this week from the American Jewish community. We learn how Swiss businessman Raoul Wallenberg became an honorary U.S. citizen and how Brandeis University almost became Einstein University. Lastly, we revisit the transcript of a Jewish broadcast from the Synagogue of Rome – the first from territory liberated by the Allies from the Nazis. Read more
 
Audacious Ambition

Audacious Ambition

Thirty years ago, David Harris took the reins at AJC and revolutionized what it means to be an advocate for world Jewry. Under David’s visionary leadership, AJC has become one of the most influential and transformational forces advancing Jewish interests throughout the world. On October 7, we will come together virtually, along with distinguished guests, to honor David. To all who share David’s values—a steadfast commitment to protecting the Jewish people, standing up for Israel, and defending democracy—we invite you to join us. Donors who contribute $1,250 or more to AJC’s 2020 campaign are invited to attend. The event will include a special virtual commemorative program that will recognize the generosity of AJC supporters. Click here for more information on the ways you can contribute.
 
On the Air

On Air

White Supremacy in America and David Duke
People of the Pod / 45-minute listen
White supremacy has featured prominently in the public discourse in recent years and during the current election cycle. In this week’s episode, we sit down with the creators of two podcasts to explore the history of white supremacy in the United States in order to better understand the state of this hateful ideology today. First, Odette Yousef, host of WBEZ Chicago’s ‘Motive,’ speaks to us about the podcast’s third season, which examines the origins of Nazi skinhead culture. Then, we hear from Josh Levin, host of Slate’s ‘Slow Burn,’ the fourth season of which explores how David Duke, America’s most famous white supremacist, rose to prominence. Listen now
 
 
Must-Reads

Must-reads

Extremism in America Takes Center Stage at First Debate
Associated Press / 2-minute read
President Trump and Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden met face to face and went toe to toe this week in the first of three presidential debates before the election. Topics included coronavirus, the Supreme Court, the economy, and racial justice. But perhaps the most memorable moment of the night was President Trump’s refusal to disavow white supremacists and the ensuing conversation about extremism in America. AJC tweeted: “There can be no ambiguity on this issue. White supremacists should not just be told to ‘stand by’ – they need to be renounced completely.” Read this article about what Jews should know about white supremacy and watch this Advocacy Anywhere program about extremism in America. Read more
 
AJC Calls for Olympic Ban on Iran
Inside the Games / 2-minute read
AJC has launched a campaign to ban Iran from the Olympics after the execution of wrestling champion Navid Afkari. As part of the effort to bar the Islamic Republic from the upcoming Tokyo Games in 2021, AJC is collecting signatures for a letter imploring the International Olympic Committee to uphold the Olympic spirit. Thousands around the world have signed on so far. “To allow Iran to participate in the Tokyo Games would be to signal approval of the country's gross and systematic violations of human rights,” the letter says. Join AJC and sign the letter to ban Iran from the Olympic Games. Read more
 
California Governor Vetoes High School Ethnic Studies Bill
Los Angeles Times / 2-minute read
California Governor Gavin Newsom has vetoed a bill making ethnic studies a high school graduation requirement, saying the curriculum needs improvement. An initial draft of the curriculum, released in the summer of 2019, purposely excluded Jews and promoted the antisemitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. AJC welcomed Newsom’s cautious approach and tweeted: “Bravo, @GavinNewsom for vetoing the California Ethnic Studies bill. California's students deserve and need a real ethnic studies program that teaches about the people of all backgrounds who make up the Golden State.” Read more
 
Uruguay Removes Minister for Voting Against Israel
I24News / 2-minute read
Uruguay's Foreign Minister Francisco Bustillo replaced his ministry’s director-general on Tuesday after the country cast a UN vote against Israel. In September, the UN Economic and Social Council voted on a resolution that claimed Israel was engaged in “systematic violations” of the Palestinians’ rights, which adversely affected the Palestinian women and girls. Uruguay was among the first nations to establish diplomatic ties with Israel and the foreign minister has insisted that Uruguay’s support for the Jewish state hasn’t wavered. AJC tweeted: “Muchas gracias to (Uruguay’s Foreign Ministry) for taking a zero-tolerance stance against anti-Israel bias at the UN.” Read more
 
 
Good to know

Good to Know

Global Leaders Remember Babi Yar Massacre
The Jerusalem Post / 1-hour video
Global leaders this week commemorated the 79th anniversary of Ukraine’s Babi Yar massacre – one of the largest single instances of mass-murder during the Holocaust. On September 29 and 30, 1941, Nazis marched the city’s Jews to the Babi Yar ravine, where 33,771 men, women and children were shot dead. Later, throughout the Nazi occupation in Kiev, the site also saw tens of thousands of Ukrainians, Roma, mentally ill and others shot and killed. AJC CEO David Harris and other leaders commemorate the “forgotten story” of the Holocaust. Watch now
 
Israel to Engage in Talks with Lebanon
The New York Times / 3-minute read
Lebanon and Israel have agreed to engage in talks about energy and maritime borders for the first time in decades. Expected to begin later this month with U.S. mediation and under UN patronage, the negotiations will focus on a 330-square-mile patch of the Mediterranean that Israel and Lebanon both claim as their own. Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a speech to the UN General Assembly, alerted Lebanon to the danger of allowing the Iranian proxy and terrorist organization Hezbollah to continue exerting control over the country. AJC tweeted: “AJC welcomes today’s announcement that Israel and Lebanon will engage in direct talks, mediated by the U.S. and hosted by the UN, to determine the countries' maritime border. It's the latest sign of progress toward a more stable, peaceful Middle East.” Read more
 
Columbia University Students Adopt BDS Resolution
JNS / 2-minute read
Students at Columbia University have passed a first-ever referendum to boycott and divest from companies that “profit from or engage in the State of Israel’s acts toward the Palestinians.” The results were released to the Columbia student body the day after Yom Kippur. In response, university president Lee Bollinger emphasized that the university “should not change its investment policies on the basis of particular views about a complex policy issue, especially when there is no consensus across the University community about that issue.” Earlier this year, Bollinger published a statement tying the movement to boycott Israel to the current rise in antisemitism. AJC tweeted: “It is disappointing to see @Columbia students support a divisive BDS referendum that ostracizes and harms the campus Jewish community. Thank you, Pres. Bollinger, for your steadfast opposition to the BDS movement, which is so deeply rooted in antisemitism.” Read more
 
Trump Administration Slashes Refugee Admissions to Lowest Level Yet
The Washington Post / 2-minute read
The Trump administration announced this week that the U.S. will admit a maximum of 15,000 refugees in the next fiscal year—marking the lowest cap on admissions yet. The new cap lowers the maximum of 18,000 set in 2020, though only about 10,800 were admitted. Refugee admissions were suspended due to the global pandemic in March, but resumed in July. AJC appealed to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to continue refugee admissions and raise the ceiling substantially. AJC tweeted: “We have been turned away before, and know how the story can end. We urge the administration to not close our doors to the world's most vulnerable, and restore the historic numbers of refugees admitted to the U.S.” Read more
 
 
Tidings Icon

Tidings

Task Force Tackles Online Antisemitism (Jewish Insider)
Iron Dome Delivery (The Jerusalem Post)
States of a Union (The Times of Israel)

The articles featured here do not necessarily reflect AJC’s positions.
 
 
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