Reaching Out To Disenfranchised


Making Jews spiritually comfortable, apparently, is only a one-way-street — veering far left (“Reform Machzor Enlarges The Tent” (Sept. 11).

Imagine my disgust in seeing attributed to me things I never said nor implied: A reporter’s selective quoting of a note appearing on my website,, her editor’s signing-off on that “reporting” and a Reform rabbi’s ensuing mockery.

The Reform movement is failing spectacularly, as a recent Pew study found. Increasingly, fewer are buying what it’s peddling. To encourage populations who might not otherwise feel at home in His house to participate during the High Holy Days came a decision to alter movement holiday prayer books to include foreign concepts, authors and “creative language.”

The Jewish Week hailed this as enlarging the tent, but is this so? Oft times one can have a spacious “tent” with nowhere to sit. Having readers of all denominations, I’m sensitive to the plight of traditionalist secular Jews. (The term is not an oxymoron.)

Every year I receive letters from readers expressing dread of having to attend services and listen to sermons from rabbis pushing values that not only don’t inspire but actually repel. Over the years, I’ve quietly placed a dozen or so families elsewhere, and the experience served as the impetus for further religious growth. This year I made my offer publicly for the first time on Your reporter, instead of interviewing me about my motivations, made a presumption that was demonstrably wrong.

Not only did she selectively quote from my Editor’s Note, she actually distorted what I wrote, which was my “arrang[ing] reservations — free of charge! — for Jews of all denominations who think they’ll feel uncomfortable for any reason in their temples and synagogues.”

Lastly — yet most importantly — my roshei yeshiva (spiritual mentors) taught me that every Jew is precious and every living being was created in the Divine image. I live my life accordingly. To suggest that I — or my site — would not want a Jew to connect to his heritage — especially the disenfranchised — is not only untrue but downright offensive.

Editor In Chief,