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JCRC on Boulder-Nablus Sister City Decision

JCRCThe Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), a program of the Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado (Federation) that represents nearly 40 community agencies, organizations and synagogues, including three organizations in Boulder, joined Boulder residents who opposed a proposal to adopt Nablus as a Sister City to Boulder.

After testimony on Monday, June 10, the Boulder City Council (Council) rejected the proposal to make Nablus its eighth sister city.  More than 70 people spoke to the Council.  The proponents attempted to characterize the effort as a way to engage in person-to-person relationships with the people of Nablus, but the Council recognized the agenda of some supporters to take advantage of the Sister City platform to encourage public and political opposition to Israel.

We applaud the Boulder City Council for their decision to reject Nablus as a Sister City,” said JCRC Chair Jacki Cooper Melmed.  “Through our national affiliation with the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, we engaged the Israel Action Network to help us research the political implications of this partnership.  We were concerned that the intent behind the Nablus Sister City application was not aligned with the goals of the Sister City program.”

According to the current Nablus Municipality Strategic Plan, which was included in the Boulder-Nablus Sister City Project’s application for sister-city status, the objective of projects like the Boulder proposal is to “Achieve solidarity of the international community and advocacy for the cause of the city and Palestine case as a whole.

The JCRC considers exchanges of cultural, educational, artistic, scientific, and professional ideas and programs to be an enhancement to the Boulder community, as well as to those with whom it shares its uniqueness.  We applaud the efforts of many who are involved with the Boulder Sister City Project to reach out to those in need in Nablus. Those efforts, however, are not served by the political objectives of those who used the Sister City Project to promote an anti-Israel agenda.

About the Jewish Community Relations Council

The JCRC advocates for domestic and international policy issues that affect the Colorado Jewish community, represents these views to the Jewish community and to the general community of Colorado, and organizes the Jewish community in times of crisis. JCRC consists of 37 member organizations in Colorado and is affiliated with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA).

Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado

Founded in 1946, the Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado’s mission is to build and sustain Jewish life in Colorado, Israel and around the world.  As a proud member of the Jewish Federations of North America, which is among the top ten charities in North America, Federation raises and allocates funds to a wide variety of partner agencies and organizations in Colorado, Israel and in more than 60 countries worldwide.  Last year, Federation’s annual campaign raised $10 million.  Federation’s endowment arm, the Jewish Community Foundation, houses more than $40 million in long term assets for individuals, agencies and synagogues in the community.  For more information, visit us at www.ajfcolorado.org.

About Talia Haykin

Talia Haykin
Talia Haykin is the Marketing Senior Manager for Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado. Additionally, she blogs at TaliaSheWrote.com and KosherSheEats.com. See her ROI profile at www.roicommunity.org/users/talia-davis

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2 comments

  1. I think what it comes down to is the AJFC and other Jews in Boulder (not to mention around the world) are absolutely terrified about getting Palestinian stories out. If you look at many of Boulder's sister cities – their founders also had 'political intent' (you say it as if it is a disease) – I am not sure what the problem with that is? What are you afraid might happen with that political intent of theirs? Political intent in no way alters what a sister city's activities actually are — look at what the Boulder-Nablus Sister City Project is doing – they are doing everything you would ask of a sister city. You even applaud their efforts – why wouldn't that be what a prospective sister city is judged on – rather than the ideology held by some members? I'll tell you what though, Palestinian stories are getting out like never before and it is becoming harder and harder to control them and to put a cap on them – so enjoy this moment for it will not last. Good luck to you and your small-minded friends, Love N.

  2. Bruce Shaffer

    The politically motivated BNSCP, with its appalling leadership, warranted a vigourous opposition. It was a rather sorry affair, though, bringing out some of the best and worst in all, and I find it's conclusion and the defeat of the proposal a poor occassion for a self serving infomercial from JCRC/AJF, whatever their participation was or wasn't. I would rather be accurately informed about why JCRC's "nearly" 40 community organizations tent is not big enought to include J-Street Colorado, which I neither belong to nor support. With BNSCP gone as an issue, I encourage JCRC to explore and offer ways for those so inclined, to become meaningfully and constructively engaged with Palestinians in the West Bank working to improve their society, and there are many. I'll be doing that next week. From Jerusalem, Shabbat Shalom.