Powered by WebAds

Friday, February 12, 2010

J Street violated its agreement with Penn Hillel

At the Weekly Standard, Lori Lowenthal Marcus writes that J Street broke a written agreement with Penn Hillel to give the impression that Hillel supports J Street (Hat Tip: Jennifer Rubin).
The event involved a deception by J Street leadership on the local Hillel and the surrounding Jewish community. When it was discovered that J Street planned to have its new division roll-out from the Penn Hillel, many Israel supporters were concerned that the outside world would assume that Hillel had endorsed J Street, especially because J Street would be webcasting live from there to cities across the country. Not to worry, said J Street to the local Hillel leadership: We promise not to mention that we’re using your facility, and to make clear in our written and oral statements that Hillel does not endorse us. That condition was agreed upon—it was "not just a promise, it was an agreement"—according to Rabbi Howard Alpert, the executive director of all the Philadelphia area Hillels. On the strength of that essential agreement, Hillel went ahead and rented J Street its space.

And then? J Street’s Ben-Ami said exactly what he’d promised not to say—that he was speaking "here at Penn Hillel"—and failed to say a word about what he’d promised solemnly to make clear: that Hillel does not endorse J Street or its message.

In short, J Street manipulated the Hillel of Greater Philadelphia (of which I am a board member) into leasing to them space in the Hillel building for their J Street Local launch by entering into a firm agreement, and then ignoring that agreement to Hillel’s detriment. J Street’s deception made Hillel’s carefully planned and extensive pre-event efforts to soothe concerned donors, students, and others that there was no—and that it would be made very clear that there was no—connection between Hillel and J Street.
Read the whole thing.

Hillel should never have rented space to J Street in the first place. This story should be publicized as widely as possible so that no other Jewish organization makes the same mistake (I'm betting that Columbia's Earl Hall will be next).


Post a Comment

<< Home