Writing in The Jewish Week, Gary Rosenblatt offers an insightful look at where Jack Rosen and the American Jewish Congress stands today:
What’s your definition of a “major national Jewish organization”?
Could it be made up of less than 20 people?
Don’t laugh. Consider the case of the American Jewish Congress.
The storied organization, dating back to 1918 and led in its early years by such illustrious figures as Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, Felix Frankfurter and Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, suspended its activities in the summer of 2010, having lost virtually all of its money and staff in the Madoff scandal.
But while many mourned the loss of a once proud, grass-roots defense agency that championed equal rights and was known for its expertise on church-state issues, few realize that the Congress, as it was known, never really disappeared.
In fact, it still has a seat at the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, though Jack Rosen, the Congress president, tells me it is no longer a membership organization. It once had more than a dozen regional chapters; the two remaining ones, in Maryland and St. Louis, operate independently, no longer affiliated with a national body that now consists of a board of directors of “18 or 19” people, according to Rosen.
Here is the complete article, AJCongress: Jack Rosen’s One-Man Show?