Menu Close

Letter presented to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by North American Unity Mission

We, a diverse group of Orthodox, Conservative and Reform rabbis from North America, have come together in Israel at a critical time, when differences between our two communities appear to be growing apart, to meet with Israeli rabbis, political, academic and civic leaders. We are here to stress our commitment to the unity of the Jewish people, to affirm our unbreakable bond with and support for the State of Israel, and to discuss our concerns. We pledge to do our part to take constructive steps to close whatever gap there may be between our two communities.

Moved by the Zionist vision of the founders of the State of Israel, we appreciate the role of Israel in the hearts, minds and lives of the Jewish people throughout our history. We are one people with a common history and shared destiny.

We believe it is crucial that Israel and North American Jewry help and support each other and work together to ensure the vitality and welfare of Judaism, the Jewish people and Jewish communities everywhere. Even when we disagree we affirm that it must be from a position of mutual respect and caring, of love and devotion to each other, and that we take into consideration the different realities of our communities and the impact actions and statements have on each other. As rabbis from different
affiliations, we celebrate and experience our Judaism in different ways. Inasmuch as unity does not require uniformity, we encourage our Israeli brothers and sisters to embrace policies and actions that support tolerance for different expressions of Judaism.

In our meeting with the Prime Minister, we conveyed that our commitment to the security of the State of Israel and for the preservation of Jewish identity in the Diaspora and State of Israel is enduring and unwavering. With unconditional love, yet not uncritical support, we are convinced that working together, we can face any challenge. Divided we are weakened and diminished.

We rabbis commit ourselves to improving our communication, expanding our knowledge of each other, and to find constructive ways to deepen and strengthen the relationship between Israel and our communities and to work constructively and in a cooperative spirit to resolve differences that may arise.

October 17, 2018
Signed:

Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt, Potomac, MD
Robyn Fryer Bodzin, Flushing, NY
Jeremy Barras, Miami, FL
Adam Feldman, Princeton, NJ
Ariel Boxman, Dallas, TX
Yael Splansky, Toronto, ON
Michael Dolgin, Toronto, ON
Susan Tendler, Chattanoga, TN
Fred Guttman, Greensboro, NC
Jeremy Wiederhorn, Westport, CT

Rosie Haim, Cleveland, OH
Jason Herman, New York, NY
Ammiel Hirsch, New York, NY
Fred Klein, Miami, FL
Brigitte Rosenberg, St. Louis, MO
Joe Potasnik, NY
Joel Sisenwine, Boston, MA
Asher Lopatin, Detroit, MI
Aaron Bergman, Farmington Hills, MI