Jeff, you stole my line!
The rest of the items on her list are worthy of discussion — but not when framed in that context. These first two items present the conversation as “the Orthodox hate us, and here’s why.”
And of course, the use of the sneeches biases the conversation from the get-go. Differences between Reform and Orthodoxy, she says, have nothing to do with sincere theological differences. It’s all about “prejudice” and “intolerance” (her words).
[Full Disclosure Update:] Melanie was a past Programming Vice President of NFTY, at the national level. A reader challenged the use of this site because it is her personal “private ISP website,” and furthermore she was a minor.
It should be obvious, though, that in the year 2000 (or even today) a high school student would have difficulty getting the national bureaucracy let her post her own pages, even with NFTY programming. [We host the web sites of several branches of the NCSY for the same reason, despite the OU’s own robust web site and servers.] The site contains over a dozen programming ideas, and links to NFTY regional program banks around the country.
[Further Update:] Research between myself and said correspondent unearthed proof that these programs were part of the official programming guide of NFTY Garden Empire Region, meaning NJ and the Western Hudson Valley. She just put together an early set of web pages, containing programming guides. The fact that this was one of those posted, out of some 275 programs, indicates that this may have been a popular offering.
The fact that she was a minor at the time tells us about the education she received, during six years during which “NFTY has been one of the most important parts of [her] life.” I don’t think Jeff is stretching it one iota. What she wrote in her programming guide is entirely consistent with the remarks of Reform Rabbi Bradd Boxman. That’s why the original conclusion of my entry remains apt:
How common is this sort of hate speech in the NFTY education system?