WASHINGTON (JTA) – While the majority of the 151 Jewish federations in North America are withholding judgment on the nuclear deal with Iran, at least eight have come out against it.
Rather than taking firm positions, federations are counselling their communities to use the U.S. Congress’ 60-day review period to learn about the international agreement and share their opinions with elected officials.
“There is a plethora of diverse opinions,” said Gregg Roman, community relations council director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. “For Federation to come out with a position would be irresponsible. We’re not going to pretend we’re nuclear experts.”
But the federations of Boston, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Phoenix, South Palm Beach and Miami are opposing the deal, which curbs Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
“We cannot be silent in our opposition to an agreement that takes far too many risks with one of the world’s most dangerous regimes,” the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County of Florida said in a statement.
Steven Rakitt, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, noted that each community and federation is different.
“We’re looking carefully at this and we’ll come to our own conclusions,” Rakitt said.
The Washington federation, through the website of its Jewish Community Relations Council, is disseminating a range of articles on the agreement ranging from Washington Post commentator Charles Krauthammer’s flat-out no to The Washington Institute’s David Makovsky’s grin-and-bear-it position.