The Board of Directors of the Columbia Jewish Federation spent many weeks examining the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, commonly referred to as the “Iran Nuclear Agreement”), attending several webinars and conference calls with leading experts and officials on both sides of the issue, and consulting with various Jewish organizations.


After careful consideration, the Board voted to issue the following statement.


Something has to be done to prevent Iran from possessing nuclear weapons. While we appreciate the efforts of the administration in creating the JCPOA and the diligence of Congress in reviewing it, we have serious concerns about numerous aspects of the Agreement, including – but not limited to – the following:


  • the system of inspections which will presumably allow Iran to participate in its own "self-inspection," 
  • the enforceability and application of "snap back" sanctions,
  • the possibility of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East among unstable regimes to combat Iranian nuclear hegemony,
  • the agreement's language lifting the arms embargo against Iran and ending ballistic missile sanctions,
  • and allowing Iran to become a nuclear threshold state while releasing up to  $150 billion dollars which potentially can be used for nefarious purposes throughout the war-torn Middle East.


We urge our representatives to carefully examine all aspects of the JCPOA before voting.      


To echo the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), should the Agreement pass, we will need to “focus our national energies towards working together across political and ideological divides. We must stand united in order to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran and keep our allies in the Middle East, [including] Israel, assured of their safety and security” (JCPA, “Time for Congress to focus on ‘day after,’” September 2, 2015).


The Board of Directors is committed to keeping the Columbia community informed as we transition from the vote to the “day after.”  Visit for updated information and opportunities to learn more.

JFNA STATEMENT | September 16, 2015


While the vote on the Iran agreement is likely behind us, the long-term challenge of preventing a nuclear Iran isn’t. America and our allies need to closely monitor Iran’s compliance of the accord and be prepared to act quickly and decisively against any Iranian violations.


This agreement adds a new variable to an already unstable and unpredictable Middle East. A strong U.S.-Israel relationship is more important than ever to both nations as we confront these challenges. Strengthening the spirit of the relationship, deepening strategic cooperation and supporting Israel as it reexamines its defense needs in light of the agreement are important next steps.


While the last several months have seen divisions over the Iran issue, we also must remember one thing on which the Administration, Congress, the Jewish community and indeed the American people all agree: Iran must never acquire a nuclear weapon.