May 26, 2024
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May 26, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

As a Conservative Jew, I fully endorse Rabbi Billet’s proposition of fostering communication and dialogue among different streams of Judaism (“Orthodox Rabbis Should Speak to Other Streams of Judaism,” January 28, 2021). Although we may differ on Halachah and ritual observance, there are issues of common concern such as anti-Semitism, COVID-19 vaccinations and the security of Israel that unite all streams of Judaism.

The world is changing, and old grievances between Orthodox Jews and Conservative and Reform Jews should be aired in open dialogue. The objective would be to seek reconciliation when possible, as a united Jewish people can accomplish much more than one fraught with internal divisiveness.

We should start with respecting the legitimate smichat of all streams of Judaism and set up communitywide rabbinic councils consisting of all rabbis meeting on a periodic basis to discuss issues of common interest to the Jewish community at large. Chabad has demonstrated that a Jewish outreach program can be a successful endeavor, and they have made a worldwide impact based on an “open-door” entry, rather than turning people away.

In any event, it’s time for a new approach of all of us learning to live together, despite differences, as we are all ONE people. Am Yisrael Chai.

Charles Cohen
Fair Lawn
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