By Allison Kaplan Sommer
WASHINGTON (Haaretz) — The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations will co-host a Hanukkah party with the Azeri embassy at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC on December 14.
Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice-chairman of the umbrella body, said that the embassy of Azerbaijan had rented the location because of its proximity to the White House, where US President Barack Obama’s final Hanukkah Party will be taking place the same evening.
Not all of the members of the Conference of Presidents are pleased with the choice of venue, the leader of the umbrella group’s largest member organization reacted with outrage.
“This decision is tone deaf at best, naked sycophancy at worst,” Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, told Haaretz. “Especially while the president-elect himself is still working through the implications of holding the nation’s highest office while presiding over a company with widespread holdings, it would have been far preferable to choose one of the approximately 3,000 other possible locations in downtown Washington. If the Conference is having that much trouble finding a non-political location, the URJ’s conference staff would be delighted to help.”