JTA — The US Women’s March, which has come under fire in recent months for its leaders’ handling of anti-Semitism allegations, has named three Jewish women to its steering committee.
On Monday, the March announced its new 32-member steering committee. The Jewish members are transgender rights activist Abby Stein; Union for Reform Judaism staffer April Baskin; and Jewish diversity activist Yavilah McCoy.
Stein, a formerly Hasidic transgender woman, has worked to raise awareness for transgender people as well as those leaving ultra-Orthodox Judaism.
Baskin is the former vice president of audacious hospitality for the Union for Reform Judaism and is a former president of the Jewish Multiracial Network.
April Baskin, Vice President of Audacious Hospitality at the Union for Reform Judaism, is the first Jew of color vice president of a major Jewish denominational organization. Find out more about her on our site! #shareherstory https://t.co/abHVteIBt1 pic.twitter.com/pfD27dRhJE
— Jewish Women's Archive (@jwaonline) February 15, 2018
McCoy is the founder of Ayecha, a Jewish nonprofit that advocates for Jews of color.
— Adriana di Bartolo (@a_dibartolo) September 15, 2016
Celebrities and activists have openly criticized march organizers’ actions in regard to the anti-Semitism concerns.
One of the organizers, Tamika Mallory, attended a speech by and praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has a long history of making anti-Jewish and homophobic statements. Though the organizers eventually disavowed Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism, many felt their response took too long and did not go far enough in denouncing him.
More recently, a report in Tablet said that Mallory and fellow organizer Carmen Perez had made anti-Semitic statements at two Women’s March planning meetings, claims the organizers deny.
A number of organizations have dropped out as march sponsors, including the National Council of Jewish Women, Southern Poverty Law Center and EMILY’s List. Last week, the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, a major reform congregation in New York, announced it was disassociating itself from Women’s March, Inc.