Our friend Adam Horowitz over at the American Friends Service Committee got quite a start yesterday when he recognized the name of one of the key players in the Forward article (below). The then West Coast assistant director at AJC had sent him this message at his home email address in April:
Date: Apr 5, 2006 3:09 PM
Subject: why do you hate being a Jew, why are you in favor of murdering Jews?
There wasn’t any text other than the subject line. Adam, who is the very definition of a mensch, googled the email address because he was so disturbed about getting it at home, and found that it belonged to none other than Allyson Rowen Taylor of the American Jewish Congress. The Forward article says about her and the AJC:
Following initial press accounts of the dispute and the AJCongress’s resignation, the organization’s executive director, Neil Goldstein, wrote a letter disavowing the resignation. The letter, published in the January 19 issue of the Forward, claimed that a former assistant director in the West Coast office had sent the resignation letter without authorization.
But in a new letter, received January 26, Goldstein and David Twersky, AJCongress’s senior adviser on international affairs, explained that the assistant West Coast director, Allyson Rowen Taylor, did in fact have permission from Ratner to send the resignation letter over his signature:
“As a result of an internal miscommunication, we erroneously believed and therefore reported to the Forward and later to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that AJCongress’ purported resignation from the Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC) was written and sent by an assistant regional director acting without clearance from national headquarters or even from her regional director. We have now learned that she did in fact have the approval of the regional director who, being part of senior staff, felt he had the authority to approve the resignation message in an email to the ICC. However, that regional director had not consulted with the national Executive Director. Upon learning what had happened, the national Executive Director promptly rescinded AJCongress’ resignation from the ICC.”
The letter went on to apologize to Taylor for her being blamed for the fiasco. Taylor, who resigned from AJCongress in December to take another job, told the Forward that she had been shocked to read in the newspaper that officials of her former organization had claimed she acted without authorization. “I nearly fell off my chair,” she said. “I felt that the associations and allegations were a defamation of my character.”
In an e-mail letter to Goldstein and Twersky, Taylor wrote that the accusation that she “signed a letter for Gary without his knowledge is rubbish, and an outright lie.” She demanded a public apology, saying she would seek legal counsel otherwise.
Taylor said she left AJCongress when it shifted its focus toward international affairs and away from campus advocacy. She is now associate director of Stand With Us, a pro-Israel advocacy organization active on California campuses. “I want the record clear and my name clear, because we do amazing work,” she said.