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A Critique Of Rabbi Eric Yoffie

A Critique Of Rabbi Eric Yoffie

Ed Case of has an interesting perspective on the legacy of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Rabbi Eric Yoffie, who recently announced his plans to retire.

Ed faults Rabbi Yoffie for not doing more to support outreach to interfaith families, in particular for allowing the Reform movement’s outreach programs to be decimated:

…in 2009, the URJ did away with its regions and the remaining regional outreach positions, to be replaced by four outreach specialists who, as talented and dedicated as they are, are stretched awfully thin to serve all 900 Reform congregations. The Reform movement’s outreach department and initiative, once truly a jewel among the movement’s many programs, is in a sadly reduced state.

I don’t feel like I know enough about this topic to chime in with an opinion of my own. However, it is discouraging to see the difficulties that many interfaith outreach groups continue to have in raising (and maintaining) funds for their work. I’ve recently learned of two outreach programs, one on the East Coast and one on the West, that are at risk of closing for lack of funding. Having not had a chance to do the requisite reporting yet, I won’t identify them at this point.

While I’m shilling for (which just announced its search for a new managing editor) I will also point out that they are looking for people, especially adult children of interfaith couples and Jewish parents whose children have intermarried, to take their survey. All participants are eligible for a drawing to win a $100 American Express gift card.

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