J Street is a left-of-center lobbying organization focused on American-Israeli relations. The group was explicitly founded to provide an outlet for left-wing Jews who did not feel represented by other Jewish advocacy organizations. The group has generated a great deal of controversy and is routinely accused of undermining the state of Israel.
In 2008 J Street was launched by Jeremy Ben-Ami, a policy advisor in the Clinton administration, and Daniel Levy, who had served as an advisor to previous Israeli cabinet ministers and had worked as an author of the Geneva peace accord. Ben-Ami started the group as an alternative to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which has received support from American Republican politicians in addition to Democratic politicians. 
The group has a decidedly left-of-center approach and is critical of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. As a result, the group presents “itself as an alternative for Democrats who have grown uncomfortable with both Netanyahu’s policies and the conservatives’ flocking to AIPAC.”  
In 2017 the group had $2,528,985 in revenue, almost entirely from contributions and grants, with $2,481,927 in expenses. 
The group received start-up funding from Deborah Sagner, who was a board member of the left-of-center group Democracy Alliance at the time. The group has also received funding from controversial left-of-center philanthropist George Soros.   In 2010, J Street and Ben-Ami faced criticism for attempting to imply that J Street did not receive funding from Soros; in fact, the group had received roughly one-third of its revenue in its 2008-2009 fiscal year from the left-wing billionaire. 
J Street claims to hold the position that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel but is opposed to any policies that it believes could inflame tensions in the area, such as building Israeli housing in the Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. The group opposed the relocation of the American embassy to Jerusalem and opposed the Trump administration when it did so, putting the group at odds with pro-Israel Democrats including Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY). 
The group also argues that any peace agreement should be based on the 1949 armistice lines, with negotiations arranging land swaps to finalize a peace settlement. 
In 2019, the group launched an alternative to the partly Israeli government-funded Birthright trips that bring young Jews from around the world to visit Israel on a free 10-day trip. Calling the trip Let Our People Know, J Street launched the trip to ensure that Palestinian voices and perspectives were heard. J Street claims that Birthright trips failed to adequately address “the realities of the occupation” that Palestinians face. 
J Street has attracted a great deal of criticism from other Jewish-Americans and Jews around the world for its stances and strategy.
Jewish activist Isi Leibler wrote in the Jerusalem Post that “J Street’s approach is arrogant and paternalistic. Its leaders have the chutzpah to claim that they know better than Israelis what is good for Israel.” According to Leibler, J Street crosses the line when it actively lobbies the U.S. government to act against policies of the sitting Israeli government. 
David Weinberg, the president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies, argued in the Algemeiner that J Street is no longer a pro-Israel organization due to its left-wing stances. He claims that J street is now an “organization that spends almost all its time and money besmirching Israel, smearing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and other leading American Jewish organizations, boosting US-Iran relations, and backing political candidates for whom promoting the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement is a badge of honor.” 
Jeremy Ben-Ami is the president and cofounder of J Street. He previously worked as an advisor in the Clinton administration.  Ben-Ami has come under fire for controversial remarks, such as referring to the Jewish establishment as a “multi-headed hydra.”  Ben-Ami also has been accused of being deceitful when it comes to J Street receiving funding from controversial donor George Soros.