The Executive Committee of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington has recommended rejection of the membership application of the local chapter of Breira, the controversial group that supports the state of Israel but often openly disagrees with Israeli government policy.
The Council is the umbrella organization for nearly 200 area Jewish group from A - Achduth, a Jewish memorial and burial society - to - Z - Zionist Organization of America, Louis D. Brandeis District.
Its executive committee met on April 12 and informed the Breira chapter of its decision in an April 14 letter to Breira chairperson Marcel Infeld. A copy of the letter has been obtained by The Washington Post.
The final decision will be made next month by the General Assembly of the Council. Sources on the Executive Committee say the assembly usually follows recommendations of the committee.
The executive committee has not issued a statement giving the reason under its constitution and by-laws for the rejection, and it is unclear whether such a statement is required. But Daniel Mann, executive director of the council said an "information letter" to Breira is being drafted. Breira requested such a letter to aid it in considering whether to file an appeal of the executive committee decision.
Mann refused to discuss specific reasons for the rejection of Breira, saying that "It's an internal matter right now . . . I don't know why you want to make this public before the assembly takes its action."
Carol Risher, who is a member of the council's executive committee and of the local Breira chapter, said the vote of the roughly 50-member committed was "about one-third in favor and two-thirds opposed."
"It was a very tough decision for the committee," Risher said, because of the history of the organization, which was founded after the 1967 Six Day War.
Risher is in favor of Breira's inclusion in the council, saying, "Just because a group may disagree with Israeli policy or seek a public forum does not mean it should be rejected. I think we should talk to each other."