So there’s the American Jewish Congress and the American Jewish Committee. As far as I can tell, they both do roughly the same thing. And by God, I’m tired of not knowing which one we’re talking about. AJC or AJC? So let’s hope that Fundermentalist’s Jacob Berkman was right yesterday when he said:

We are hearing whispers that the long-rumored absorption of the American Jewish Congress into the American Jewish Committee is just about a done deal, though neither side will confirm or deny the speculation.
[…] The Jerusalem Post reported in April that the two sides were looking at a situation where the Committee would absorb some of the staff of the Congress, which has seen its finances decimated by heavy losses in the Bernard Madoff scandal and by the recession.
But it is unclear at this point just how much of the Congress the Committee would be willing to take on.

6 thoughts on “AJC or AJC?

  1. well, at least there would be one fewer organization out there whose sole purpose is to be holocaust fright-mongers to elderly Jews and raise their own salaries through big no-purpose fundraisers. I say go for it.

  2. They could simply go by the AJC intials designation and leave everyone guessing which it is.
    Or they could pluralize and go into business making creative devices by which various cartoon characters attempt to destroy one another and call themselves AJAX. MEEP-MEEP!!

  3. AJ Congress is the paradigmatic example of a Jewish organization that continues its existence long after any discernible purpose it may once have had has disappeared. If it does finally go away, the next best example of this phenomenon will be the Jewish Agency.

  4. As someone who is old enough to remember when there were differences between the AJC’s, and who has been a member of both and is now a member of neither, let me opine that their merger makes sense today, but would once have been virtually impossible for reasons having nothing to do with their shared primary mission, fighting anti-Semitism.
    There were two simple contrasts between the Committee and the Congress, the first tactical and the second demographic. The Committee, back in the day, worked through “shtadtlanut;” it operated through closed-door private meetings between the “our crowd” Jewish establishment and the reigning power elite. The Congress, on the other hand, sought to redress perceived threats to the Jewish condition publicly, in court. In the tersest terms, it was negotiate vs. litigate. And the Committee, as implied previously, was old school German-Jewish, while the Congress (despite the impeccable credentials of its leader Stephen Wise) was essentially Eastern-European, at a time when that distinction was important and pervasive.
    With the passage of time, both broadened their scope into a variety of cultural pursuits (cf. Commentary and Judaism magazines) even as the ethnic distinctions and the quarrel between sha-still and in-your-face tended to melt away. As the saying goes, there’s nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come.

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