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Help Synagogues, Don’t Criticize Them

Help Synagogues, Don’t Criticize Them

The Opinion piece, “When Judaism Becomes Kmart” (Oct. 4), by
 Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin, echoed many of my own sentiments regarding the plethora 
of “garage” and “pop-up” synagogues cropping up on the North Shore of Long

I am a very active member of a struggling, Conservative synagogue that is suffering from many of the same issues as
 others that, unfortunately, were forced to either close their doors or merge 
with another synagogue.
Our small community on Long Island is facing the 
challenges of changing demographics as Rabbi Salkin notes. What we don’t need is more competing synagogues vying for a shrinking Jewish 
population. To the contrary, what the existing Jewish institutions in our
 area should do is join forces to encourage young Jewish families to move into
 our community for its vibrant Jewish life, stellar school district, excellent
 real estate and other positive attractions, instead of “undermining” each 
other. To this end, we have made strides recently in connecting with other 
local Jewish institutions to conduct well-attended and successful joint 
programming and social action activities and will continue these efforts.
 And we have revamped our religious school with an innovative model delivering education in a fresh, engaging way.
 beseech Rabbi Salkin and other detractors to not criticize synagogues like mine that are evolving to secure our survival and maintain 
our dignity, spirituality and vitality. Instead, they should have a 
little rachmones [empathy], and recognize the enormity of our challenges and 
acknowledge and support our efforts to retain our identity and standing in
 the community.

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