Apr 4, 1997
The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, also known as the "Orthodox Union," representing hundreds of thousands of Orthodox Jews, and the Rabbinical Council of America, representing over 1,000 Orthodox rabbis serving world Jewry, are highly critical of the statement recently released by a Jewish organization whose name is easily confused with that of the Orthodox Union. While we acknowledge divisions on core theological issues, they are to be considered disagreements within the family. We repudiate the erroneous implication that Conservative and Reform Jews, are not Jews by virtue of their religious affiliation.
Such statements reflect negatively on our efforts to project an Orthodoxy of inclusion. We deal with the deep religious disagreements in a constructive communal manner, rather than in a public display which, while a headline grabber, pains the Jewish soul.
We consider the statement particularly inappropriate in light of the risks currently facing the Jews of Israel and other communities worldwide that cry out for Jewish unity. We must never lose sight of the fact that we are one people. To publicly and recklessly emphasize that which divides us, harms the Jewish community.
We call upon all responsible leaders to speak in the spirit of ahavat Yisrael, love of all Jews, so that despite issues over which we differ, we remain united as one people.