Non-profit

Center For Economic Research and Social Change

Location:

CHICAGO, IL

Tax ID:

36-4400754

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)-PF

Budget (2014):

Revenue: $2,110,891
Expenses: $2,048,842
Assets: $1,291,833

Type:

Left-leaning think tank

President:

Ahmed Sehrawy

The Center for Economic Research and Social Change (CERSC) is a nonprofit organization that promotes Marxist socialist ideology[1] and anti-Israel content. The organization has operated several different blogs and publications over the years with the two most active current projects being Haymarket Books, which publishes books about Marxism and left-leaning politics,[2] as well as Mondoweiss, a left-leaning anti-Israel blog published by Philip Weiss, a self-described Anti-Zionist. [3] From 1997 to 2019, CERSC operated a Marxist magazine called The International Socialist Review, which mirrored an early 20th century Marxist journal of the same name. [4]

The Center for Economic Research and Social Change has received funding for several notable left-leaning funding organizations including the Wallace Global Fund, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Tides Foundation. [5] The organization has also received funding from Ron Unz, who funds many anti-Jewish and anti-Israel organizations and conspiracy theorists. [6]

Background

The Center for Economic Research and Social Change has operated several projects over years, and does not have a very high profile aside from anti-Israel blog Mondoweiss, its most notable project. [7]

From 1997 to 2019, CERSC operated the International Socialist Review, a journal that was dedicated to promoting socialist and Marxist political philosophy in the United States and promoted “critical Marxist analysis of all challenges and opportunities that confront the left and social movements in the 21st century.” [8] In May 2019, the CERSC announced the suspension of publication of the International Socialist Review after 112 issues were published from 1997 to 2019. All issues of the journal remain on the publication’s website, which has not been updated since the announced suspension. [9]

The website of the Center for Economic Research and Social Change itself has not been updated since 2014, and lists several other projects that lead to either dead weblinks, or pages that have not been updated since around 2014. These include WeAreMany.org and the Domestic Worker Oral History Project. [10]

One of the few active projects of the organization is Haymarket Books, which is self-described as a “radical, Independent, nonprofit book publisher.” [11] Haymarket Books was founded in 2001 and has released over 500 titles regarding various socialist and anti-Israel issues from dozens of left-leaning authors. The organization offers a “free-Palestine”[12] starter kit that it unveiled in June 2021 which include books supporting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement and describing Israel as an apartheid state. [13]

The Center for Economic Research and Social Change also hosts the annual Socialism Conference, which it says draws around 2,000 attendees annually to Chicago. [14]

Mondoweiss

The most notable project of the Center for Economic Research and Social Change is Mondoweiss, a far-left anti-Israel blog that has been described by libertarian-leaning law professor David Bernstein as an “Anti-Jewish hate site.” [15]

The blog, which is run by Philip Weiss, has drawn a following in anti-Israel circles and regularly promotes the activities and provides a platform to many of the most notable leaders of the anti-Israel movement in the United States, including Ali Abunimah, co-founder of “Electronic Intifada”; Alison Weir, the executive director of If Americans Knew; and Norman Finkelstein, an anti-Israel speaker. The blog promotes many anti-Israel themes that include describing Israel as an apartheid state, claims of ethnic cleansing and genocide, and a running theme that a pro-Israel lobby wields immense control over U.S. foreign policy. [16]

Mondoweiss is published by Philip Weiss, a self-described Anti-Zionist who has frequently gone beyond criticism of Israel to promote broad anti-Jewish themes. [17] Weiss frequently cites his own Jewish upbringing to provide anecdotal evidence to support the anti-Semitic themes of his writings. [18]

CERSC receives funding for Mondoweiss in part from the Unz Foundation, a grantmaking organization funded by Ron Unz, a retired software entrepreneur from California and publisher of Unz Review, whose writers, including Unz himself, have denied the Holocaust, made unsupported smears of lynching victim Emmett Till, and praised the infamous anti-Semitic tract Protocols of the Elders of Zion. [19][20]

In addition to funding from the Unz Foundation, The Center for Economic Research and Social Change has received funding for several notable left-leaning funding organizations including the Wallace Global Fund, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Tides Foundation. [21] The organization’s grant from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund was part of the fund’s “peacebuilding” grantmaking and was specifically directed for Mondoweiss. [22]

References

  1. “International Socialist Review.” CERSC. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://cersc.org/isr.html ^
  2. “Haymarket Books.” CERSC. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://cersc.org/haymarket.html ^
  3. Weiss, Philip. “I’m gonna wave my freak flag high (why I say I’m an ‘Anti-Zionist,’ not a ‘Post-Zionist’).” Mondoweiss. January 10, 2009. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://mondoweiss.net/2009/01/why-i-say-im-an-antizionist-not-a-postzionist/ ^
  4. “International Socialist Review.” CERSC. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://cersc.org/isr.html ^
  5. “IRS Form 990.” Center for Economic Research and Social Change. 2018. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/364400754/10_2019_prefixes_36-38%2F364400754_201808_990PF_2019100216711549 ^
  6. Watson, Michael. “The Far-Left’s Alt-Right Friend.” Capital Research Center. August 23, 2019. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://capitalresearch.org/article/the-far-lefts-alt-right-friend/ ^
  7. “Home.” CERSC. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://cersc.org/ ^
  8. “About.” International Socialist Review. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://isreview.org/about ^
  9. “About.” International Socialist Review. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://isreview.org/about ^
  10. “Home.” CERSC. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://cersc.org/ ^
  11. “About.” Haymarket Books. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://www.haymarketbooks.org/pg/about ^
  12. “Free Panestine Starter Kit.” Haymarket Books. June 1, 2021. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://www.haymarketbooks.org/blogs/321-free-palestine-starter-kit ^
  13. “Free Panestine Starter Kit.” Haymarket Books. June 1, 2021. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://www.haymarketbooks.org/blogs/321-free-palestine-starter-kit ^
  14. “Socialism Conference.” CERSC. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://cersc.org/socialism-conference/ ^
  15. Bernstein, David. “’Mondoweiss’ is a hate site.” The Washington Post: Volokh Conspiracy. May 4, 2015. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/05/04/mondoweiss-is-a-hate-site/ ^
  16. “Ron Unz: Controversial Writer and Funder of Anti-Israel Activists.” Anti-Defamation League. January 20, 2014. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://www.adl.org/news/article/ron-unz-controversial-writer-and-funder-of-anti-israel-activists ^
  17. Weiss, Philip. “I’m gonna wave my freak flag high (why I say I’m an ‘Anti-Zionist,’ not a ‘Post-Zionist’).” Mondoweiss. January 10, 2009. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://mondoweiss.net/2009/01/why-i-say-im-an-antizionist-not-a-postzionist/ ^
  18. Bernstein, David. “’Mondoweiss’ is a hate site.” The Washington Post: Volokh Conspiracy. May 4, 2015. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/05/04/mondoweiss-is-a-hate-site/ ^
  19. “Ron Unz: Controversial Writer and Funder of Anti-Israel Activists.” Anti-Defamation League. January 20, 2014. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://www.adl.org/news/article/ron-unz-controversial-writer-and-funder-of-anti-israel-activists ^
  20. Sixsmith, Ben. “The Curious Case of Ron Unz.” Spectator USA, September 20, 2018. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://spectator.us/ron-unz/ ^
  21. “IRS Form 990.” Center for Economic Research and Social Change. 2018. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/364400754/10_2019_prefixes_36-38%2F364400754_201808_990PF_2019100216711549 ^
  22. “Grantees: Center for Economic Research and Social Change.” Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://www.rbf.org/grantees/center-economic-research-and-social-change ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: August - July
  • Tax Exemption Received: April 1, 2001

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2014 Aug Form PF $2,110,891 $2,048,842 $1,291,833 $211,637 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Aug Form PF $1,761,722 $1,709,915 $1,085,352 $172,371 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Aug Form PF $1,762,427 $1,652,365 $1,087,035 $245,193 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Aug Form PF $1,358,292 $1,239,655 $869,466 $151,548 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Center For Economic Research and Social Change

    4015 N ROCKWELL ST
    CHICAGO, IL 60618-3737