This year, as the political turmoil in Israel intensified, Canadian Jewish organizations had to straddle a thin line. Many expressed concern about the legislative overhauls planned by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while others preferred to keep mum on the topic; almost all reinforced their fundamental support for the country.
Regardless of which path they chose, their need to speak out—or not speak out—opened them up to criticism from the Canadian Jewish public. And that begs a deeper question: do these organizations actually represent the views of the broader community?
To take a pulse on the issue, Dan Brotman and Yaron Deckel, hosts and sponsors of Five Questions About Israel, assembled a panel of three dedicated Jewish Canadians with a record of volunteering for such organizations. They are Deborah Livneh, the executive director of the Windsor Essex Capital Angel Network and board member for the Windsor Jewish Community Endowment Fund and the American Technion Society; Evan Pilz, a political fundraiser and longtime lay leader for various Jewish organizations, including the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and the Centre for Israel Jewish Affairs; and Max Lissoos, who hails from South Africa, where he was the president of the country’s first conservative congregation.
Hear the answer to the fifth and final question of Five Questions About Israel above, and catch up on earlier episodes here.