New York, NY, April 29, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today reacted to an ad campaign taking aim at Reform Judaism's nominee for president, Rabbi Richard Jacobs, saying that attacks from within the Jewish community questioning his pro-Israel bona fides were "harmful to the spirit of unity and common cause that unites the Jewish people."
"The attacks by some within the Jewish community, whether they consider themselves members of the Reform Movement or those beyond the Reform Movement, on the character and reputation of Rabbi Jacobs are harmful to the spirit of unity and common cause that unites the Jewish people," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "There are enough enemies for us to fight against, and this is no time for the community to be divided. We should fight our enemies, not our differences."
An ad campaign appearing this week in the Forward and other Jewish newspapers takes aim at Rabbi Jacobs, the Union for Reform Judaism's nominee for president, charging that he "does not represent the pro-Israel policies cherished by Reform Jews." The ad was paid for by a committee calling itself "Jews Against Divisive Leadership," or JADL. Other such criticisms of Rabbi Jacobs' appointment beyond the Reform Movement have surfaced in the Jewish community as well.
The ad campaign cites Rabbi Jacobs' involvement in left-leaning Jewish groups, including J-Street and the New Israel Fund, as well as his past activism as reasons to "question his judgment."
"At a time when there are existential threats in abundance against the state of Israel and the Jewish people, we can ill-afford to have our community divided over who will comprise the next generation of leaders," said Mr. Foxman. "It is shameful that some are seeking to divide us at a time when Israel needs the American Jewish community's undivided attention and support more than ever."