DC Federation and JCC Clarify Arts Funding
Facing tensions that have erupted over community funded artistic expression relating to Israel, the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington is carving out a middle road that it hopes will please all sides.
Despite being urged by some community members to stop funding plays critical of Israel in the local Jewish Community Center, the federation’s board of directors decided instead to draw its red line at programs that promote boycott, divestment or sanctions against Israel (BDS.) The board decided against issuing formal guidelines for community funded programming, as was done by the Jewish federation in San Francisco last year.
The D.C. compromise could mark a new path for overcoming the dilemma already facing several communities being torn between activists and donors who feel their federation dollars should not fund voices outside the mainstream communal consensus and leaders of funded agencies who wish to maintain their artistic freedom.