American Jewish Congress (AJC)
AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS (AJC)
A Jewish-American association, the American Jewish Congress was initially created in 1918 to combat anti-Semitism and to address the problems facing Jews in Europe. It was formed after negotiation with the American Jewish Committee; proponents of an alternative organization took issue with the leadership of the Jewish American Committee, whom they perceived as representing only the wealthier sector of the Jewish-American community. It was agreed that the Jewish American Congress would meet for one time only, with one-quarter of its representatives appointed by the American Jewish Committee and three-quarters elected by the Jewish-American community. The Jewish American Congress sent a delegation to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. Following the conference, it was disbanded.
In 1922 proponents of the AJC formed a second American Jewish Congress, this time as a permanent body. A membership-based organization, the new AJC used public campaigns to promote awareness of issues affecting Jews worldwide and to defend the civil and religious rights of Jews. The AJC, with headquarters in New York and an office in Jerusalem, had fifty thousand members in 2004. It continues to combat anti-Semitism and advocates for Israeli security and peaceful relations with Israel's neighbors.
SEE ALSO American Jewish Committee.