JFREJ Action FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Our Exciting Changes

What is JFREJ Action?

JFREJ Action (a 501c4 organization) is the new home base for all our organizing, whether we’re building Neighborhood Groups, advancing our issue-based campaigns, organizing ritual and cultural events, or participating in elections. By becoming a member of JFREJ Action, you are building a powerful organization that can advance a transformative agenda in the streets and at the ballot box. You are building an organization that can push on the issues as JFREJ Community has always done — whether to demand police accountability or that workers are treated with dignity or that elders and people with disabilities receive the care they need, or that immigrants are protected, or that unhoused New Yorkers or people in prisons are prioritized for life-saving support during a pandemic. All of that work continues, and all of it can be powered by gifts to a 501c4 organization. AND, gifts to JFREJ Action are even more powerful because they provide us with the resources we need to weave all of that powerful base-building and issue-based organizing into electoral organizing to further advance our agenda.

As a 501c3 for three decades, JFREJ Community has been able to agitate elected leaders once they’re in office. As a 501c4, JFREJ Action can do that as well as organize to endorse and elect candidates who share our vision and values and commit to co-governance with movements seeking transformative change.

In short, gifts to 501c4 organizations (JFREJ Action) are unrestricted and therefore more flexible than gifts to 501c3 organizations (JFREJ Community). Gifts to JFREJ Action, however, are not tax-deductible.

If you prefer to make a tax-deductible gift, you can contribute directly to JFREJ Community. Gifts to JFREJ Community are tax-deductible and will be used only for 501c3 compliant activities (ie, non-partisan).

Is JFREJ going away? How will this change my beloved 30-year-old political home?

Never! Bite your tongue. We’ve simply created a new 501c4 to bring all of our movement’s work together under a single organization. It will allow our community us to continue doing all of the organizing, arts and ritual that we’ve done for the past 30 years, plus the kind of hugely impactful electoral organizing and issue advocacy that our friends at The Jewish Vote have pioneered since 2018. This 501c4 organization, called “JFREJ Action,” will be known as “JFREJ” going forward, and will do all of the things JFREJ has always done. In addition, the 501c3 organization will continue under the name “JFREJ Community” and will not participate in partisan politics.

What does this mean for The Jewish Vote?

The Jewish Vote isn’t going anywhere. (C’mon — that logo is way too cool!) It will henceforth live within JFREJ (aka “JFREJ Action”) — TJV will simply be the JFREJ campaign you join if you are interested in working to elect progressive candidates like these!

How will this affect my membership, donations and tax deductions?

  • If I am currently a dues paying member of JFREJ, what happens to my current membership?
  • If I don’t want to be a member of an organization that conducts partisan political activities, but I still want to support JFREJ’s other important work, what do I do?
    • If you prefer to make a tax-deductible gift, you can continue to contribute directly to JFREJ Community. Gifts to JFREJ Community are tax-deductible and will be used only for 501c3 compliant activities (ie, non-partisan).
  • Can I become a member of JFREJ Community?
    • We are inviting and encouraging all JFREJ Community members to join JFREJ Action. By becoming a member of JFREJ Action, you are building a powerful organization that can advance a transformative agenda in the streets and at the ballot box. If you prefer to make a tax-deductible gift, you can contribute directly to JFREJ Community. Gifts to JFREJ Community are tax-deductible and will be used only for 501c3 compliant activities (ie, non-partisan).

What is a 501c4?

501(c)(4) refers to a section of the U.S. federal income tax code concerning social welfare organizations. Corporations that operate with 501(c)(4) are exempt from federal income tax. These organizations may engage in unlimited lobbying and some political campaign activities. This includes donations to political committees that support or oppose ballot measures, bond issues, recalls or referenda. Unlike 501(c)(3) organizations, donations to 501(c)(4) entities are not tax-deductible for the individual or corporation making the donation.

What is a 501c3?

501(c)(3) refers to a section of the U.S. federal income tax code concerning charitable, religious, and educational organizations. Organizations that have been granted 501(c)(3) status by the Internal Revenue Service are exempt from federal income tax. This exemption requires that any political activity by the charitable organization be nonpartisan in nature. Organizations that qualify as 501(c)(3) organizations are unique because donations to these organizations are tax-deductible for donors.Ballotpedia & Investopedia

I hate politics! I don’t want to have to deal with elected officials. Can I still participate at JFREJ?

Absolutely! All of the JFREJ campaigns that you know and love — issue-oriented campaigns that give voice to our values and call for changes in policy will continue. You can still fight to abolish ICE, take to the streets with Jews4BlackLives, campaign for home care and universal health care with the Caring Majority, and add your voice to beautiful ritual actions and events throughout the year. In the course of those campaigns, you may encounter new opportunities to support candidates who are fighting for these causes, but how you participate is, as always, up to you.

I want JFREJ to endorse a candidate I am excited about — what do I do?

We'd love for you to participate. JFREJ members can bring proposals and recommendations for candidates and races to the Steering Committee of The Jewish Vote, which decides which races to consider for endorsements. Check out our current endorsement process here.

I do not support one or more of the candidates JFREJ has endorsed. How do I make my voice heard?

The best way to influence which candidate we endorse is to participate in candidate interviews, vote in member straw polls, and get involved with the work of The Jewish Vote. We can’t guarantee that your preferred candidate will get our endorsement, but we can guarantee that the process will be open, transparent, and welcomes your participation. You can share ideas, questions, and proposals with the TJV steering committee here. After wider membership has conducted interviews and voted in straw polls, the 2021 Endorsement Team makes the final decision on our slate of endorsed candidates. The team will weigh the results and determine if our organization wants to make ranked choice endorsements in some or all races, as we may find that our members strongly favor two or more candidates.