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Welcoming Efforts Unreciprocated

Welcoming Efforts Unreciprocated

The conclusions reached by Andres Spokoiny in his Opinion essay, “What We Can Learn From Russian-Speaking Jews Here” (June 3), are completely opposite from the truth. As a member of the Rego Park Jewish Center, a traditional Conservative temple bordering Forest Hills, we have repeatedly reached out to encourage the Bukharian Jews in this area to pray with us; to meet with us; to enjoy a kiddush or holiday with us. Never once in all these years has there been a response or a reciprocal invitation for us to join them.

I personally contributed funds to purchase prayer books in Russian and English, and they still languish, unused and unappreciated.

So my advice to Mr. Spokoiny is rather than advise us to learn from Russian-speaking Jews here, may I respectfully recommend that they learn from us — two generations of American Jews, most of us from Ashkenazi immigrant backgrounds. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they could pray with us and learn from us — to unite with the very same American Jews who fought so hard for their freedom from the communism of Soviet Russia and made possible for thousands of them to come to Israel and to the United States?

Of course, I understand that their religious traditional ways may be different from ours. But perhaps accommodations could be made if they would only attempt to get to know us. 

Thank you for allowing me to vent. 

Forest Hills, Queens


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