Two staffers depart dovish J Street

Laura Rozen

Two long-time staffers have resigned from J Street, the liberal Washington pro-Middle East peace group, its president said Wednesday.

"It is with very mixed emotions that I have accepted the resignations this week of two of J Street's staff who have been with the organization since its very beginning and are now moving on to new positions--Isaac Luria and Amy Spitalnick," J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami said in a statement posted to J Street's website Wednesday.

"Isaac has been the voice and spirit of our online advocacy since even before our launch in 2008 when he lived in Jerusalem, and Amy has been the primary face of the organization to the media since the fall of 2008," the statement continued.

The group--founded as a dovish alternative to the much larger and more established American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)--has seen its membership expand over the past few years. At the same time, establishment U.S.-based pro-Israel groups have depicted the liberal lobby as a fringe-left organization insufficiently supportive of Israel--a view that's also been echoed in the Israeli Knesset.

Spitalnick is headed to New York to take a job as communications director for a New York City politician. Luria is heading to the interfaith world to run new media for Auburn Seminary.

(Some 2,000 people attended J Street's annual conference in February in Washington, D.C. Photograph: J Street)