National Council of Young Israel   Back to the Gallery

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.

Ideology: Conservative

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.

More Information:

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.


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