Smoking Gun

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?

Is Reform a Waystation?

Do we think that Reform is “a lazy person’s Judaism,” or “the final step before abandoning Judaism?” Sergio Della Pergola and Uzi Rebhun, of the Division of Jewish Demography and Statistics, The A.Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, determined that:

A plurality of the older age group was raised in an Orthodox environment, whose family roots were often abroad. The Conservative movement grew the most among the 2nd generation, and became the movement in which the largest share of Jews below 60 were raised. It is now the current plurality of those aged 60+. The Reform movement is now the plurality of those below 60, while the proportion not identifying with any major denomination is quickly growing.

Jewish Action, Fall 1998, quoted by Nitzotzot Min HaNer, Jan. 2003.

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1 Response

  1. web surfer says:

    Do a quick google search and you will lots and lots of Orhtodox statements that prove the Reform perspective.
    Below is a recent quote from Rabbi M.D. Tendler as reported in the official paer of YU.

    “Expressing his angst at the problem that the Conservative and Reform movements pose for Torah Judaism, Tendler expressed his belief that these liberal movements are “no longer part of the stock; no longer part of the tree of Judaism” in light of their “aggressive” attitude in claiming that Orthodox Jews are outcasts and that they now represent “true Judaism.” According to Tendler, Reform Judaism is “no longer a Jewish faith,” and Conservative Jews “don’t know who they are” by denying the halakhic process. Tendler went on to caution that it is inappropriate for Torah Jews to participate in Conservative prayer services, fearing that it might lead to legitimization of their dogma.”

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