After helping organize the Cleveland Women’s March during its inception in 2017, the National Council of Jewish Women/Cleveland’s chapter will not endorse this year’s Women’s March amid allegations of anti-Semitism within the march at the national level.
In the month leading up to the Jan. 19 march, those assertions of anti-Semitism began to mount. Among other allegations, one of the march’s creators, Vanessa Wruble, said she was pushed out of the group in part because she’s Jewish, according to The New York Times.
While NCJW/Cleveland president Elaine Geller said the chapter agrees with the principles and policies of the march, it cannot endorse it this year.
“We are concerned about the controversies that have erupted over the Women’s March this year, and while we – and they – continue the conversation, we will not officially be endorsing the march at this time,” Geller said.
The announcement follows actions taken by NCJW’s national office, which is not endorsing the national Women’s March in Washington, D.C. Geller said the national chapter played a role in drafting the original Women’s March’s principles in 2017.
Similarly, the local chapter helped plan the 2017 Cleveland march after finding out it was being organized by two Case Western Reserve University graduate students who had little experience planning such events. About 15,000 people turned out.
In 2018, NCJW/Cleveland was not among the primary organizers of the Cleveland march. It was involved in a separate event to combat homelessness and poverty that same day, leading to lower NCJW/Cleveland participation in the march than the first year.