US/World News

Boston JCRC considers ouster of Workmen’s Circle over BDS 

By Sean Savage/(JNS) – The Boston Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) took an unprecedented step on Jan. 24 in passing a resolution declaring that any member organization supporting the BDS movement could be expelled from the council, which could culminate in the ouster of the Workmen’s Circle.

The resolution – adopted overwhelmingly by a vote of 62-13 with eight abstentions – resolves that no member of the JCRC “shall partner with – in particular by co-sponsoring events primarily led or co-led by, or by signing on to statements primarily organized or co-organized by – a self-identified Jewish organization that declares itself to be anti-Zionist.” Additionally, the resolution states that such an action “be grounds for removal from the JCRC.”

The resolution comes amid concern over ties between the JCRC member organization Boston Workmen’s Circle (BWC), a Jewish nonprofit promoting secular and progressive Jewish values, and Jewish Voice for Peace, an anti-Israel organization that openly supports the BDS movement.

Calls to remove the BWC from JCRC began to mount last summer when the group signed a petition organized by Jewish Voice for Peace. The JVP-led petition criticized efforts by supporters of Israel to “target organizations that support Palestinian rights, particularly the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.”

A statement released by Jeremy Burton, executive director of the Boston JCRC, noted that the BWC’s decision to align with the global BDS movement “triggered questions and concerns within our coalition, given our long-established view that support for BDS is contrary to our mission.” Burton said the JCRC will engage in dialogue with the BWC to determine a path forward.

CAP: Jeremy Burton, executive director of the Boston JCRC. Credit: Boston JCRC via Twitter.

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