We, at the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, stand in solidarity with the Washington, D.C. JCRC, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), and the other Jewish organizations who were singled out and attacked by the DC chapter of the Sunrise Movement, an environmental advocacy organization. Sunrise DC recently declined to speak at the Freedom to Vote rally in DC this weekend, stating that they would not stand beside “Zionist organizations” JCPA, the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC) and that they would not join any future coalitions that include those groups. We condemn their actions as anti-Semitic and hope that they will do the necessary work of educating themselves about Judaism and meeting with the groups that they attacked.
Please see below for statements from the DC JCRC and JCPA. Also, click here to read an article from Jewish Insider for more information and statements from NCJW and RAC and click here to read an article from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency including statements from the national group of The Sunrise Movement.
Washington, D.C. JCRC
JCRC Outraged by Sunrise DC’s Antisemitic Statement
Agency condemns divisive action ahead of Freedom to Vote Rally in D.C.
WASHINGTON DC—October 20, 2021 – The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington this evening issued the following statement in response to Sunrise DC’s declining a speaking slot at the Freedom to Vote rally this weekend, due to the participation of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC):
“The JCRC is outraged by Sunrise DC’s refusal to speak at the Freedom to Vote rally this weekend due to the participation of the JCPA, NCJW and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. The “opposition to Zionism” Sunrise DC so proudly espouses constitutes the fundamental denial of the Jewish people’s right to self-determination and is therefore antisemitic at its core.
The American Jewish community has a long and proud history of joining with people of all faiths, races, and identities in the struggle for voting rights in the United States. Locally, our JCRC has for decades supported the movement to achieve self-determination for DC residents through statehood. We have advocated for stronger state voter access laws and fought antidemocratic efforts to disenfranchise marginalized voters. At the same time, we have proudly advocated for the safety and security of the State of Israel, and for the advancement of a two-state solution that would allow both Israelis and Palestinians to live peacefully alongside one another. Rather than being contradictory, these struggles are aligned in their commitment to dignity, freedom, and respect for all people.
It is regrettable that Sunrise DC has injected division, acrimony, and hatred into a powerful movement that is uniting Americans from all backgrounds and walks of life to defend our democracy, including over 60 American Jewish organizations. We condemn Sunrise DC’s suggestion that American Jews who support the right of the State of Israel to exist and flourish be excluded from the civic movements that embody our Jewish values and that we have led and participated in for so long. We must not allow gratuitous, hateful grandstanding to fracture this critical national coalition at such a pivotal moment for our nation.”
“In keeping with our 77-year history, JCPA will continue our ongoing engagement on voting rights efforts in coalition with interfaith and diverse communities, including our involvement in the freedom to vote rally and in support of fair, free and accessible elections for all people.”