The Church By The Sea, a member of the United Church of Christ (UCC), rejected the UCC resolution to boycott and divest from Israel, which the General Synod passed on June 30, 2015.

Roz Rothstein, CEO of Israel advocacy group StandWithUs (SWU), commented that “The Church By The Sea is to be commended for its conscience and courage in rejecting the discriminatory Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement against Israel.”

In an open letter, The Church By The Sea, “unequivocally repudiates and rejects the [UCC] call to boycott and divest [from Israel].” In addition the Church “has also withdrawn all of its investment funds (almost $3M) from the United Church of Christ.”

Rothstein explains, “The Church By The Sea has set an important precedent. Individual churches do not need to succumb to pressure to discriminate. They can act in good conscience.”

StandWithUs also commended Bal Harbour City Councilman Gabriel Groisman, under whose leadership Bal Harbour became the first municipality in the country to pass an ordinance regulating against the city’s contracting with parties that engage in discrimination such as BDS on December 1, 2015.

“The hateful, anti-Semitic BDS Movement has infiltrated academic, religious and commercial institutions around the world. It is time that those who have joined this movement be called out and put to the test. The Church By The Sea, and its leadership, have now been put to the test, and they have passed. The Church By The Sea is to be applauded for its courage and moral clarity.”-Gabriel Groisman, City Councilman, Bal Harbour, FL.

“What Councilman Groisman and the City have now proven is that such laws help to create an atmosphere that emboldens parties who wish to take a moral stand and make brave decisions,” stated Eugene Kontorovich, Professor at Northwestern University Law School and leading expert on anti-boycott legislation.