US & World

LA Jewish activists view Israel through social justice lens

The IfNotNow activists who walked off their trip visited Hebron, which appeared deserted. (Credit: Sophie Lasoff)
The IfNotNow activists who walked off their trip visited Hebron, which appeared deserted. (Credit: Sophie Lasoff)

Many younger Jewish Americans have a different view of Israel than their parents and grandparents. Just look at IfNotNow, a growing millennial American Jewish activist movement that wants to “end American Jewish support” for Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands. To that end, IfNotNow members like Elon Glickman of Los Angeles are engaging the Jewish institutions--and parents--that raised them.

One of those institutions under fire from IfNotNow: Birthright Israel, which  sponsors free 10-day trips to Israel for 40,000 Jewish young people from across the world each year. The organization bills its popular heritage tours for 18 to 32-year-olds as educational and apolitical, but some IfNotNow organizers from Los Angeles are condemning the program for hiding the realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict--and even walking off their Birthright buses.

Read more on LAist.com: Why Some LA Jewish Millennials Are Walking Off Their 'Birthright Israel' Trips

Aaron Schrank covers religion, international affairs and the Southern California diaspora under a grant from the Luce Foundation.