Our Approach:

JFREJ was founded to focus on local organizing for racial and economic justice in NYC. Our founding members knew then, as we do now, that our liberation as Jews is tied up with the liberation of all people around the world. We are connected to what happens in Israel-Palestine. We are connected as a Jewish organization, and an organization in the United States — whose government provides more than $3 billion in annual military aid to the State of Israel. We are connected as a community with members who have lived there, loved there, put down roots there, protested there, and have friends and family there. And we are connected as a New York City-based organization, navigating Israel-Palestine’s impact on NYC organizing and politics. We are a big-tent community where progressive and Leftist Jews can come to learn and build together. What we all share is our commitment to JFREJ’s values & principles.

JFREJ organizes locally while orienting internationally. We are part of a broader global movement that calls this orientation grassroots internationalism — an orientation that requires mutual solidarity, forged over time between frontline communities around the world who are suffering from the impacts of oppressive global systems. We are committed to fighting racism, displacement, and domination; to fighting for the right of all people to participate democratically in the governance and decision-making that shapes the material reality of our daily lives. We know our power and safety as Jews do not lie in police, militaries, the borders of any nation-state, or the oppression of others, but in solidarity and community, wherever we live. We strive to support local efforts led by our partners for Palestinian rights and freedom, and against Israeli apartheid, occupation, displacement, annexation, aggression, and ongoing assaults on Palestinians.

We are especially called to respond to instances that have an unjust impact here in our own city. Too often our opponents successfully use legitimate Jewish fears about antisemitism to divide and distract New Yorkers from our goals. Too often, Israel-Palestine is a vehicle for this division. Our closest allies in City Hall and Albany — particularly Black and brown women socialists fighting to build the care economy and dismantle corporate monopolies and the carceral system — are targeted for their support for Palestinian human rights. Public institutions like CUNY are pressured by the right-wing pro-Israel lobby and its aligned activists to repress nonviolent political activity and silence dissent. This repression is just the beginning of the political right’s long-term campaign to undo democratic rights across the board. These are local matters and JFREJ recognizes — and acts on — them as such.

JFREJ is a proud supporter of the Not On Our Dime campaign to end New York State's subsidization of Israeli settlements.


What is JFREJ's stance on Zionism?

  • The Jewish community has wrestled with this question for years. As for JFREJ, we do not take a position on Zionism; we’re just generally anti-nationalist! Our membership includes loud & proud anti-Zionists, as well as non-Zionists, people who identify as progressive Zionists, and people who don’t identify as anything in relation to Zionism. Click here to read JFREJ's values & principles.

  • Rather than orienting around Zionism, JFREJ is rooted in Diasporism, a term coined by JFREJ’s first Executive Director, Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz as an alternative to Zionism. In her words: “Where Zionism says go home, Diasporism says we make home where we are.”

What is JFREJ's stance on BDS?

  • JFREJ does not currently take a position on BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions). Our members hold a range of opinions on the subject. Our position, and where we all agree, is that there should never be any policy to curtail or penalize dissent or non-violent political speech, including BDS.

What are JFREJ's partners on Israel-Palestine work, and which Palestinian-led groups are JFREJ accountable to?

  • On Israel-Palestine, JFREJ organizes most closely with JVP and IfNotNow, which are both in direct relationship with Palestinian groups, and we have a decades-long partnership with NYC-based Arab and Muslim organizations and leaders.