Gary Rosenblatt surely is to be commended for his courage and insight in publicly recognizing that the so-called Rotem Knesset bill on conversions should be recognized and appreciated by all American Jews, Orthodox or otherwise, for what it is, rather than be attacked for what it is not (Aug. 6).
Rotem offers a much-needed opportunity to properly integrate large number of non-Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union into the Jewish state. It does so by respecting Israel’s democratic electoral processes, while recognizing the traditionalist sensitivities and leanings of most Israelis, whether they are personally observant of Jewish law or not. To demand that North American denominational priorities supersede pressing Israeli realities is an unfortunate tactic that is the wrong fight, at the wrong time, in the wrong place.
North American Jewish leaders and organizations need to understand the real Jewish demographic crises confronting both Israel and our own shrinking community. Indulging in scare tactics, or implying a lessening of Jewish support for our shared and cherished homeland because of parochial preferences at home, help neither Israel nor the cause of Jewish continuity in the Diaspora.
Executive Vice President
The Rabbinical Council