Conference of European Rabbis Expression of Concern Over the Olive Tree Initiative

The following Letter of concern from Rabbi Abba Dunner, Executive Director of the Conference of European Rabbis, was copied to the OCITF  and is being forwarded with Rabbi Dunner’s permission:

From: Aba Dunner
Sent: 19 January 2011 12:30
To: ‘’
Subject: Olive Tree
Attention Mr Shalom Elcott: 

Dear Mr Elcott,

We are the Conference of European Rabbis, the umbrella organisation of all European Chief Rabbis and Rabbis and their communities in Europe.
We understand that your Federation is sponsoring students from California to participate in programmes organised by the Olive Tree organisation. Surely this can’t be right. This organisation is clearly an anti Israel body that has a definite agenda which is to delegitimize Israel.
For a Jewish organisation to sponsor Jewish students to participate in such programmes is quite wrong.  As we all know, students can so easily be influenced to adopt ideas and dogmas especially when they are at odds with the ideas of their peers. This new trend, which is to expose youth to all that is available is valid up to a point. But not when it endangers the continuity of the Jewish people.
It would be sad if these youngsters returned to California and joined anti Israel protests, marches and organisations, just because your Federation felt that this exposure was important for their education.
We ask you in all sincerity to cancel any support for Olive Tree and to desist from sending anyone to their programmes. Rather, your Federation should carefully monitor what they are doing and take action to counteract their activities.
Rabbi Aba Dunner
Executive Director
Conference of European Rabbis

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