For Fundraisers, It’s all Israel, All the Time

James Besser writing in The Jewish Week:

More on the AJ Congress – and the perils of progressive domestic activism

The other day I blogged about the sad demise of the American Jewish Congress and laid much of the blame for its protracted demise on its decision to turn away from the progressive domestic focus that was its traditional bread and butter.

A caller with long connections to the group took me to task.

The organization, he said, had little choice but to move away from domestic issues, for the simple reason that it’s almost impossible to raise money on those concerns from a confident, secure and prosperous American Jewish community.

I don’t buy his whole argument, but it does raise some interesting and important issues.

It is a given in the Jewish philanthropic world that two issues trump all others when it comes to opening Jewish wallets: a threatened Israel and overt anti-Semitism.

Actually, anti-Semitism isn’t a big factor for most American Jews, so if you’re a Jewish fundraiser, it’s all Israel, all the time.