Basic Information: According to its website, "The
National Council of Young Israel (NCYI), founded in 1912,
serves as the national coordinating agency for nearly 150
Orthodox congregations comprised of nearly 25,000 member
families throughout the United States and Canada. NCYI also
serves as a resource to its sister organization in Israel,
entitled "Yisrael Hatzair - the Young Israel Movement
in Israel", encompassing over 50 synagogues."
Young Israel is one of the most powerful forces in the
Orthodox Community in the US.
Noted For: Being the first American Jewish organization
to launch the struggle against the Oslo accord.
Key Leaders: Shlomo Z. Mostofsky (President) Chaim
Kaminetsky (Honorary President), Rabbi Pesach Lerner, Rabbi
Herbert Bomzer, Aaron Teitelbaum, Eli Dworestky, Nathaniel
and Ruth Saperstien and Rabbi Sholom Gold.
Representing more than twenty thousand upper and middle
class families, the National Council of Young Israel is
one of the most powerful forces in the Orthodox Jewish Community
in the US.
Young Israel may perhaps be best known in the United States
for its programs aimed at counteracting the forces of assimilation
including its sponsorship of kosher kitchens, fraternity
houses, and Israel programs on college campuses.
Perhaps less well-known is its significance as the first
American Jewish organization to launch the struggle against
the Oslo accord.
Michael Karpin and Ina Friedman write in Murder in the
Name of God that, "Young Israel's call to "struggle
for the cancellation of the Olso Agreement" represented
a departure from past practice, for whatever the disagreements
between the rival political camps in Israel, the organizations
representing American Jewry had long followed a tacit rule
of supporting the country's elected government." Young
Israel led other Orthodox groups in opposing the Oslo agreement
through rallies, demonstrations, letters to the editor,
radio and television broadcasts and political lobbying.
Its supporters also began to use increasingly violent language.
A protester at a demonstration held in December of 1993
was quoted by the Village Voice as saying "Rabin should
be killed," four months before the same message began
appearing in Israel.
NYSI is also one of the main leaders of the effort to win
clemency for American spy Jonathan Jay Pollard, the naval
intelligence officer convicted of spying on behalf of Israel.