(Facebook/Screenshot with additions by United With Israel)
Jewish Currents

The magazine is progressive and Jewish. So is the advertiser. So, what’s the problem?

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel

The magazine is progressive and Jewish. So is the advertiser.

So, why did Jewish Currents apologize on Thursday for running an ad by the Dorot Foundation for a 10-month leadership training program in Israel for American Jews?

The advertisement, saved for posterity in screenshots shared on social media, is straightforward enough.

It describes the Dorot Fellowship Israel (DFI) as “A unique opportunity for Jews in their 20s/30s to spend 10 months living and learning in Israel.” A short paragraph by a former participant praising the program. A January 24 application deadline and a can’t-miss red “Apply Now!” button. Individuals of all backgrounds are welcome.

The Jewish Currents, a quarterly magazine, tweeted an apology on Thursday. The statement left readers in the dark as to what exactly was objectionable about Dorot’s advertisement.

“Yesterday, we released an ad without proper vetting, for a free all-expenses paid year in Israel. This ad is not in line with our values as an organization dedicated to reporting on and opposing Israeli human rights abuses,” the statement said.

“We are returning the money that we received from this ad and will immediately begin a critical evaluation of our ad processes and policies. We will publish in full the resulting advertising guidelines on our website. We apologize for this error and for undermining our readers’ trust,” the statement added.

“Thank you for your understanding and patience with us,” the statement concluded.

Dorot, also identifying as “progressive,” is too Zionist for Jewish Currents. The Dorot website unequivocally states that “Jews have the same right to national self-determination as all other peoples.”

It goes on to say “If you believe that Jews are uniquely ineligible for a nation-state of their own, the DFI is not likely a good fit for you.”

However, some DFI alumni would be a great fit for Jewish Currents. A pro-Israel activist who goes by the Twitter name Jewlicious pointed out that alumni from previous Dorot programs include Simone Zimmerman, co-founder of of IfNotNow. and a Jewish outreach coordinator for the Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign. Sanders suspended Zimmerman for vulgar social media posts about Benjamin Netanyahu.

Daniel Sieradski, who founded the progressive blog, Jewschool, was kicked off Twitter in 2017 for, among other things, threatening the lives of Jerusalem Post reporters.

Other Dorot alumni include Harry Reiss, the New Israel Fund‘s director for policy and strategy. While the NIF doesn’t formally endorse the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel, it opposes anti-BDS legislation on the books in more than 30 U.S. states. Such legislation, NIF statements say, “silences dissent and erase the Green Line.”

According to NGO-Monitor, “In practice, NIF continues to fund NGOs such as Adalah, Breaking the Silence, +972 Magazine, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel that are primarily active in campaigns that contribute to BDS and delegitimization.”

While many Jews on Twitter asked Jewish Currents and editor Arielle Angel what exactly was wrong with the ad, others mocked the magazine.

“We don’t subscribe, but please do share. A trip to Israel sounds amazing,” tweeted Democratic Majority for Israel.

“You’re journalists—what else are you publishing without a proper vetting process?” asked @jerisays_.

“Perhaps a free, all-expenses-paid year in Gaza would have been more to your liking,” tweeted, @DadImpaler.

“So…Jewish Currents is marginalizing an organization whose fellowship promotes inclusion because it takes place in Israel,” tweeted Wendy Kalman.

Indeed, Dorot’s only ‘sin’ was having its leadership program in Israel, of all places.

Bring Joy to Israeli Soldiers - Send Winter Care Packages!

We are honored to thank the young men and women of the IDF who risk their lives every day to defend the citizens of Israel.

Join us in sending winter care packages and personal notes of support to Israeli soldiers who are out in the cold all day.

Warm up a soldier's heart with essential winter wear including fleece jackets, hats, gloves and more. Keep an entire unit warm!


Click Here to Send Your Gift and Personal Note to Israeli Soldiers