As a Jewish organization, it seems natural that Bend the Arc would hold an event on the Ninth of Av. But it is absolutely bizarre that a Tisha B’Av event would not mention the focal points of the day, the Jewish Temples in Jerusalem, or anything else related to Judaism, even once.
Bend the Arc is a progressive Jewish political organization. Unlike most left-wing organizations, BTA does not deal with issues related to Israel. BTA has been noted for its work protesting the policies of the administration of President Trump.
BTA announced they will be holding a Facebook-live event on Wednesday evening, coinciding with the Jewish holiday of Tisha B’Av. Tisha B’Av is a day of fasting commemorating the destruction of both Jewish Temples in Jerusalem but this fact is entirely ignored in BTA’s announcement. Instead, the event is “to mourn the overwhelming violence against Black people in our country and discuss the transformational organizing of defunding the police, reinvesting in community and reimagining safety.” The page-long description of the event on BTA’s website does not mention the Temples, Jerusalem, Torah, Bible, or Judaism.
Instead, the focus of the Jewish holiday turned to racism.
“We know that anti-Black racism and antisemitism are part of the machinery of fear and division, and we are committed to rising up against them, together with Black organizers inside and outside of our own Jewish community,” the organization said on their website.
In keeping with the spirit of the event, it will be hosted by “Rabbi” Jessica Rosenberg who was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and is a National Organizer for BTA. Though it is clear that Rosenberg self-identifies as a woman, Rosenberg also stringently adheres to the Biblical commandment that prohibits Jewish men from shaving their faces and, as a result, Rosenberg has a prominent beard.
Another host for the event Graie Hagans, was also ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and is a self-described “unapologetic Black, Jewish transman.”
Last year, BTA’s Tisha B’Av event focused on immigration, defining the Jewish holiday as “a day of mourning for the plight of our refugee ancestors.”
It is important to note that Alex Soros, the son of the billionaire George Soros, is the founding chair of Bend the Arc Jewish Action. As of February 2018, George Soros had a net worth of $8 billion, having donated more than $32 billion to the Open Society Foundations. Domestically, the OSF is a strong supporter of the left-wing and the Democratic Party, especially through its support of Priorities USA Action, the Democratic Party’s largest super PAC.
Soros funded millions of dollars into the Black Lives Matter movement via his Open Society Foundation, the Washington Times reported.
As racial tensions rise in the US, Soros’ foundation is increasing its investment. In a statement released earlier this month, OSF announced they would be investing an additional “$220 million in emerging organizations and leaders building power in Black communities across the country.”