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2009 Convention Resolution: Unity in the Age of New Media
RCA and its Members to Use New Media to Unite, not Divide.
 
 
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May 12, 2009 -- The destiny of our Jewish nation has long been determined by the unity of the spiritual heirs of Avraham and Sarah. Unity has inspired brother to save brother and enabled a people to receive and transmit the Torah across generations.

The Rabbinical Council of America's fraternity of rabbis stands as a unifying force, accepting duly ordained rabbis from a broad ideological field and requiring only a commitment to traditional Torah belief and observance. The RCA seeks to promote unity amongst the rabbinate, and from there amongst the laity as well.

The modern quest for unity is aided by the unprecedented ease and speed of communication offered by new media, connecting individuals and communities across continents and oceans. More than six hundred RCA-member rabbis communicate regularly via internet forum. Torah is discussed by rabbis who have never met in person, ideas for outreach and education are shared and promoted in a matter of hours, and articles are drafted for publication with broad input and approval.

This same ease and speed of communication threatens our unity, though, enabling publication of thoughts which would have been better kept private and encouraging caustic dissemination before candid discussion. The resulting public disputes are unhealthy for the RCA and, on the broader band, this public strife is unhealthy for the Jewish people as a whole.

Certainly, strongly held ideology is bound to lead to disagreement in areas of philosophy as well as halachah, and such disputes often demand airing and debate. However, only in the rarest and most dire situations is it appropriate for individual members of the RCA, or the RCA itself, to issue public statements criticizing individuals or organizations.

Be it resolved that the RCA, as well as its individual members, will employ any and all reasonable means of notification, negotiation and diplomacy before resorting to publication of negative statements and articles.

Be it further resolved that the RCA, as well as its individual members, will not issue negative statements and articles except in cases of the most egregious provocation and the most pressing need.

Be it further resolved that in such circumstances, the RCA, as well as its individual members, will employ the power of media, new and old, to contribute to this superior value of unity, and to avoid any sort of public statement which might be taken to detract from the reputation of other organizations or individuals, without warrant.

"Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all of her paths are peace."

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