B'nai Jeshurun

Rabbi’s Role: Speaking Out Or Maintaining Community?

03/05/2014
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Frequently, I hear congregants complain that their rabbis are not inspiring or that they never take clear stands on issues of importance. That's why the ongoing discussion about rabbinic independence that has erupted again at B'nai Jeshurun, covered very fairly by The Jewish Week (“B’nai Jeshurun Defections Fuel Debate,” Feb. 28), transcends any single congregation and any one subject. It is a contemporary case study about two issues facing the congregational world:

Rabbi Hayim Herring

Fuel For Debate Over Rabbis’ Role

At B'nai Jeshurun, congregants quit to protest their clergy's criticism of mayor’s support for AIPAC.

02/24/2014
Editor and Publisher
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Where do you draw the line between a rabbi’s freedom to preach and his or her responsibility to maintain a cohesive congregation?

B'nai Jeshurun Rabbis Rapped Again On Israel

02/12/2014
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Congregants of the Upper West Side synagogue B’nai Jeshurun, known worldwide for its spirited services, have for the second time in about a year condemned two of their rabbis’ most recent public statements on Israel, this time in an e-mail petition.

B’nai Jeshurun’s 88th Street entrance. Wikimedia Commons

Ooops! They Did It Again?

B’nai Jeshurun rabbis’ comments on Israel trigger a second angry petition from congregants.

02/07/2014
Web Editor
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Congregants of the Upper West Side synagogue B’nai Jeshurun, known worldwide for its spirited services, have for the second time in about a year condemned two of their rabbis’ most recent public statements on Israel, this time in an e-mail petition.

B'nai Jeshurun's 88th Street entrance. Wikimedia Commons

High Holy Day Highs

09/17/2013
Editorial

At Kol Nidre services last week at Central Synagogue, the historic Reform congregation in Manhattan, Peter Rubinstein offered his last High Holy Day sermon as senior rabbi after 23 years in that post. He billed his talk “A Love Letter,” and in an emotional 30-minute address, he explained that it was being delivered “from me to each and all of you … and it’s about the legacy we have created together and that is now yours to carry on.”

BJ Rabbis Went Too Far

We American Jews get bent out of shape when we’re accused of dual loyalty. But the truth is many of us are guilty as charged when it comes to being proud Americans and supporting the people of Israel.

Of All Peoples, Jews Should Understand The Value of Self-Determination

12/10/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

For Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch's piece, "Liberal Rabbi: BJ Colleagues Gave The Wrong Message," click here.

It would be very foolish for a secular Jew to step into a dispute between two or more rabbis. But given that I find the current dispute to be touching on a core concept of Jewish identity, whether it be religious or secular, I will take the risk and responsibility of such foolishness.

BJ Rabbis Went Too Far

American Jews should express opinions about Israel with the humility of non-combatants.

12/10/2012

We American Jews get bent out of shape when we’re accused of dual loyalty. But the truth is many of us are guilty as charged when it comes to being proud Americans and supporting the people of Israel.

We should be proud, not ashamed of that fact.

And it’s also true that we give out mixed messages when we say American Jews should be unified in support of Israel, but that dialogue and debate between our two societies is a healthy sign of engagement, caring and passion.

Progressive Rabbi: Bnai Jeshurun Colleagues Gave The Wrong Message

12/07/2012

Here is my message to my colleagues, the rabbis of B'nai Jeshurun:

I read with dismay your letter about the UN vote upgrading the Palestinian status to observer state, and your subsequent letter expressing regret for the feelings of alienation that it caused, but affirming the essence of your original message. 

B’nai Jeshurun ‘Regrets’ UN Letter

Under pressure, rabbis say letter on Palestinian vote was ‘unedited draft’ and not nuanced enough.

12/06/2012
Staff Writer

Stung by criticism over their e-mail to congregants lauding the United Nations for recognizing the Palestinians, the rabbis of B’nai Jeshurun on the Upper West Side sent a new e-mail Thursday morning to express regret that their original e-mail did not convey the proper tone.

“We regret the feelings of alienation that resulted from our letter,” the rabbis wrote.

Rabbis at B'nai Jeshurun have apologized for a letter celebrating the UN's Palestine vote. Photo courtesy B'nai Jeshurun
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