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2018-04-06 digital edition
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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved. 


 

April 6, 2018  RSS feed
Culture

Text: T T T

Reader fires back at shuls for support of march

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor:

There seems to be a growing trend among synagogues to support left wing causes. I recognize a majority in the Jewish community are liberal, and I believe their intentions and hearts are in the right place (despite my disagreement with their policy preferences). But after decades of declining synagogue affiliation and growing anti-Semitism, is it a good idea for synagogues to embrace left-wing causes at the expense of alienating their conservative members? I believe the trend to inject politics into every aspect of our lives, including the synagogue, will fracture a Jewish community that’s already shrinking.

The March 9-22 issue of the Jewish Press featured a story about local congregations organizing trips to March for Our Lives. Organizers, speakers, and attendees at these events have a distinct left-wing bias. It would be impossible to detail the solutions offered by conservatives and liberals to limit gun violence. Suffice it to say there are many good and bad ideas on either side. But to support an event that demonized the right or express intolerance of conservative views does nothing but divide us. Political exercise is fine in the public square, but to endorse a political viewpoint from the synagogue only marginalizes those who don’t share those beliefs. And frankly, it’s just bad for business.

Noah Jacobson
Tampa


I need to agree with Noah

I need to agree with Noah Jacobson's Letter to the Editor" about shuls supporting last month's march in DC and his concern about politics now being a large part of synagogue life. I am tired of being bombarded with the over used buzz words, "social justice", used by Jewish leaders. I have heard this term continuously used by Jewish leaders during sermons, the 2007 URJ Biennial in Boston, at Jewish Youth Camps, and Junior Youth Group events; when there are agendas being pushed. Some Jewish leaders' social justice causes are now practically synonymous with not being Republican and pushing some agendas that I feel will result in social "injustices". I no longer feel comfortable going to shul since the sermons are now continuously about how I must politically think and act about international and domestic issues. So that everyone in my workplace feels comfortable, politics are not allowed to be discussed. Therefore, why do I have to listen to my rabbi instructing me on the "correct" views I am required to have for gun and gender issues during high holiday services where he actually stated not speaking about it and being silent is doing nothing, which is his justification for using the bima for his agendas; but is my justification for no longer being a member.

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