More On The Reform Letter
The Jewish Week has an article up about the GOP response to the anti-war letter put out by the Union for Reform Judaism.
This week the Republican Jewish Coalition began a series of full-page ads in leading dailies — including The New York Times and Washington Post — and Jewish newspapers across the country. Featuring a photo of an Iraqi woman with a purple-stained finger indicating she had voted, the ad, with the caption “To the Union for Reform Judaism,” expressed strong backing for the Bush administration’s Iraq policies.Many signatories consider themselves members of the Reform movement. Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, strongly objected to the stance taken by Rabbi Yoffie and other Reform leaders in the letter:
“We support the President and the war on terrorism,” signers said. “We stand behind our troops and their mission of creating a safe, democratic Iraq. This mission is vital not only for the continuing fight against terrorism, but also for the security of Israel and the stability of the Middle East.”
“We’re not attacking Reform Jews, we’re attacking the tactics that the leadership of the Reform movement is using to promote an agenda that does not reflect the totality of American Jewry,” he said.Rabbi Yoffie, however, disagreed with the argument put forth in the RJC ad.
The Reform leadership “does a disservice to the Jewish community by making representations that they speak for a much larger segment of the community,” he said. “I’m a Reform Jew; they don’t speak for me.”
“In terms of the substance, the facts are very clear: Our resolution was a centrist, mainstream resolution expressing a variety of concerns about the war in Iraq that are held by a majority of Americans, and by an even greater majority of American Jews,” he said in an interview.I strongly disagree. In my opinion, to put forth a controversial position like this, without taking into account the views of the rank-and-file members of your community is dishonest of the URJ leadership.
Rabbi Yoffie called charges that he was claiming to speak for all Jews “silly.”
“Obviously, any resolution we pass does not reflect the views of every Reform Jew or every Reform congregation. There will always be some who are unhappy.”