Editorial & Opinion | Letters

11/19/2014 | | Letters

I am in Israel as I write this, having been in Jerusalem with Partners for
Progressive Israel’s symposium a few days this week and having in fact toured
the city with Daniel Seidemann (“Coming To Terms With ‘Reality’ Of Jerusalem,” N.Y. Minute, Nov. 14).

11/19/2014 | | Letters

Your article on the front page of the Nov. 7 issue, “Conversions Vote
Loosens Grip of Chief Rabbinate,” rightly celebrates a small but conceivably
significant step towards ending the monopoly of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate
over all issues of personal status, including conversion. Any change in the
status quo is certainly welcome.

11/19/2014 | | Letters

Near the end of your front-page article last week about Jonathan Greenblatt being named
as successor to Abe Foxman at Anti-Defamation League (“Questions Over ADL’s Direction In Wake Of Top Pick”), you quote one observer as calling the
appointment “a sign that American Jewry is not grooming young leaders to
take top professional positions.”
Here’s a suggestion: Stop nitpicking and second-guessing emerging new
leaders before they even have their first day on the job.

11/12/2014 | | Letters

I’m writing regarding the debate over the opera “The Death of Klinghoffer,” in relation to an article several months ago about the Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, the largest gay and lesbian congregation in the world. The article from the recent past (“Gaza War Pushes Israel, Reluctantly, Onto Holiday Bima,” Sept. 19) described how the rabbi read a list of [Palestinian] casualties during the Gaza crisis as well reading from the Koran. A member of the board had to resign due to the unwillingness of the board to censor the rabbi in any way.

11/12/2014 | | Letters

Regarding last week’s “Musings” column by Rabbi David Wolpe (“Make Room For Holiness”): Sadly, in my experience, the “we are running a business” mentality vacuums out holiness from a synagogue boardroom. The bottom line and minutia of policy trample spiritual concerns. The rabbi and the context in which a rabbi can help decisions be framed are shunted aside in the name of good business practice. This rabbi-less model seems to be accepted, even promoted, as the norm within Reform and Conservative movements.

11/12/2014 | | Letters

Regarding last week’s “Musings” column by Rabbi David Wolpe (“Make Room For Holiness”): Sadly, in my experience, the “we are running a business” mentality vacuums out holiness from a synagogue boardroom. The bottom line and minutia of policy trample spiritual concerns. The rabbi and the context in which a rabbi can help decisions be framed are shunted aside in the name of good business practice. This rabbi-less model seems to be accepted, even promoted, as the norm within Reform and Conservative movements.