The New York Young Republican Club is disappointed and dismayed at the recent controversy related to boycotting and getting Governor Ron DeSantis removed from speaking at non-profit Tikvah Fund’s planned event at The Museum of Jewish Heritage (MJH). Regardless of the intent and means of removing Governor DeSantis from speaking, we believe it is important for public institutions, especially ones as important as a Museum dedicated to Jewish Heritage and a Living Memorial to the Holocaust, to not discriminate based on partisanship, ideology, and stances on democratically-passed and legitimate laws.
Furthermore, we are proud to see a young, rising Jewish and Republican leader in Councilmember Inna Vernikov (48th District, Brooklyn, Minority Whip) take a strong stance and make the difficult choice to pull $5,000 in discretionary funding from the MJH. We agree and stand with her message to donors from May 8th, 2022, which stated: “Every member of the New York City Council, whether Republican or Democrat receives approximately $5mm in capital and $700,000 annually in discretionary funding to distribute in our discretion. I was happy to contribute some of my discretionary funding to The Museum of Jewish Heritage for the great work they do. I am now pulling that funding and I am asking you to do the same.” Councilmember Vernikov noted that Governor DeSantis is a politician of “a rare breed – a great friend of Israel and the Jewish people.”
This intense politicization along partisan lines of every aspect of our society is not by chance. We’re seeing it all throughout our institutions both governmental and cultural. It has not started with Governor DeSantis and it will not end with him unless corrective actions and bold stances against this politicization of institutions are taken.
We believe that in order to reach the full order of societal impact and maximum benefit to the public good and common understanding of our shared humanity, that the MJH must stay broad and diverse in background as well as viewpoint and not discriminate on the basis of either when it comes to events and speakers. We will be encouraging this spirit of open debate, tolerance, and pluralism that is essential to the preservation of the American constitutional republic.