STL Jewish Light: Broad Jewish support for anti-BDS bill

The process to pass the Anti-Discrimination Against Israel Act in Missouri has been an adventure from the beginning of the process. Jenny Wolkowitz created a coalition of professional and lay Jewish leaders who are passionate about Israel, the Missouri-Israel relationship and about Missouri becoming the 25th state to pass an anti-BDS bill. We hit several obstacles, or threats of obstacles, along the way.  

Several dozen concerned citizens from the Jewish community, from Jewish day schools to the business world, as well as non-Jewish Zionists and others have attended hearings in both houses to show support and testify on these bills. Many more people from across the state have written letters, sent emails and called their elected officials to voice their support. While one senator on the west side of the state has erected an enormous obstacle in the face of a filibuster of the bill, we are not giving up and are still optimistic.  

A cross section of St. Louis Jewish leaders — including Conservative, Reform and Orthodox rabbis and the heads of several prominent area Jewish community organizations — have signed a letter of thanks to the bill’s sponsors: Sen. Mike Kehoe, Sen. Jill Schupp and Speaker of the House Todd Richardson. The letter thanked them for their dedication and leadership and expressed our support to try whatever it takes to pass the bill in the final days of the session (read the letter and the list of signatories online at stljewishlight.com/2018-letter). 

The diversity of the signatories reflects that the overwhelming consensus of support in the broader St. Louis Jewish community for the Anti-Discrimination Against Israel Act. Regardless of the outcome of the bill in this legislative session, we can still say “Dayenu”: The broad support for the bill shows that Israel is a common cause still capable of uniting the St. Louis Jewish community.    

Michael Minoff, Olivette

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