The problem highlighted by Gary Rosenblatt’s timely column, “Where The Boys Aren’t” (Nov. 5), is real, but readers could be left with the impression that it is also universal. While Conservative and Reform institutions report a decline in enrollment among young men, as well as a decrease in male attendance at Reform services, such trends are not the case in Orthodox circles. Before one dismisses this distinction as based upon the differing gender roles in Orthodoxy, the same is true of our outreach to unaffiliated youth.
It is quite apparent that the major problem with liberal synagogues is indifference (“Reach Out And Touch A Congregant,” Nov. 12). There is no compelling, e.g., halachic, reason to attend services, and everything from soccer to shopping seems more fun. Hence it is no wonder liberal Jews de-prioritize worship while expecting their shuls to be there for them when it comes to bar mitzvahs, weddings and burials.
A new model of membership dues is indeed called for — namely one that rewards regular attendance.
It was a pleasure to read the article on the completion on the Steinsaltz Talmud (“The Longest Translation,” Nov. 5). I have used these volumes at the Daf Hayomi classes that I attend for almost two decades. The class takes place in the Agudath Israel of Belle Harbor, Queens, and those who lead the class have always been interested in Rabbi Steinsaltz’s approach.
The shameful news of alleged fraudulent Holocaust reparations claims since 1994 from the German government raises a serious question of governance in this organization as well as other Jewish organizations (“Claims Conference Insiders Nabbed In $42 Million Fraud,” Nov. 12).
It has always been perplexing and a mystery how representation between the German government and the Jewish community developed and who in the Jewish community established a “conference” and appointed representatives to act on behalf of the community.
I greatly enjoyed the discerning discussion by Phyllis Chesler and Rivka Haut in the “Sabbath Week” column on “Chayei Sarah” (“The Sacrifice Of Sarah,” Oct. 29). One assertion, though, requires correction.
After writing about Sarah’s invoking God to judge between herself and her husband, they state: “This is the first biblical reference to God as ‘judge.’” Sorry — it’s the second!
Aryeh Rubin is certainly correct in stating “Liberalism Is Not Our Religion” (Opinion, Oct. 29). However, Jews should be actively involved in working for a better, more just, Israel and world, not because of liberalism, but because of Judaism.