web analytics
July 28, 2014 / 1 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Shameful Orthodox-Bashing

One of the burning issues being debated across America is the issue of school tuition vouchers. Many are advocating school choice as a means of allowing parents the opportunity to shop around for the best education for their children. Others, particularly those who send their children to religious day schools, are supporting vouchers as a constitutional means of securing funds for the secular portion of their children's education. That is, they seek the amount allocated by government for the education of all children. To be sure, there is ample room for debate on whether it is good law and whether it is, in any event, good policy.

We believe that the answer is affirmative in both respects. But we surely recognize that some may reasonably differ. So we were dismayed by an article in last week's Forward reporting on remarks delivered by Reform's Union of American Hebrew Congregations President Eric Yoffie at their recent convention. Not only were Yoffie's comments the height of incivility, but they were carried on the Forward's front page.

The article was entitled “Reform's Yoffie: Jewish Support For Vouchers an Embarrassment.” The story jumped to page 7 with the headline, “Yoffie Says Voucher Fans Are 'Shameful.'”

And here is part of what the article said:

Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Reform movement's Union of American Hebrew Congregations, told a gathering of 6,000 synagogue leaders that he was 'embarrassed and ashamed' by pro-voucher arguments in the Jewish community….

“The people who engineer voucher proposals are almost always those with no interest in maintaining the public schools and whose real aim is to secure funding for their own schools. We can now add to the list Jewish organizations that have supported vouchers, or remained silent, hoping to secure funding for yeshivas and Jewish day schools,” Rabbi Yoffie said.

Public schools, he added, “were the ladder that we used to climb from poverty to affluence in American life, and how dare they deny it to others.”

Plainly, Yoffie has a problem with full day religious schools per se, a strange position for the head of Reform's rabbinic arm. Indeed, the convention at which he spoke was centered around increasing Jewish learning as a way of stemming the growing lack of Jewish identity among Reform youth and correcting an appalling lack of Jewish tradition. It seems highly incongruous in this context to tout the public schools as the gateway to affluence at the expense of rigorous religious instruction. So much for the transcendence of religious commitment.

We also note that the Orthodox are rather handsomely represented in the professions. But perhaps Yoffie hasn't noticed.

But what is really shocking is Yoffie's language. Is seeking educational dollars commensurate with what is allocated to all students an “embarrassing” enterprise? Is it “shameful” for the Orthodox community to support a correction in a state of affairs in which by undertaking to pay tuition taxpayers forfeit government education funds available to all?

One senses that what Yoffie fears is this: with equity, the financial burdens on members of the Orthodox community will be eased. And he will not abide anything that will make easier the lives of those who every day demonstrate that rigorous, normative religious practice need not mean a diminution in full participation in American life.

In sum, it would have been nice had Yoffie made his point sans the venom. And it seems to us entirely unseemly that the Forward would have so prominently featured his diatribe. Doubtless there is a message therein.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Shameful Orthodox-Bashing”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Children run into a shelter during a Code Red siren warning of incoming rockets fired from Gaza in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon.
IDF Retaliates for Ashkelon’s Morning Rocket Fire
Latest Indepth Stories
kerry clown

Kerry is preoccupied with pressuring Israel, notwithstanding the transformation of the Arab Spring .

journalism

With no shortage of leftist media that seek to distort the news, what should our Torah response be?

Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

There is much I can write you about what is going here, but I am wondering what I should not write. I will start by imagining that I am you, sitting at home in the Los Angeles area and flipping back and forth between the weather, traffic reports, the Ukraine, Mexican illegals and Gaza. No […]

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

It is time for a total military siege on Gaza; Nothing should enter the Gaza Strip.

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

So on the one hand Secretary Kerry makes no bones about who is at fault for the current hostilities: he clearly blames Hamas.

More Articles from Editorial Board

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

So on the one hand Secretary Kerry makes no bones about who is at fault for the current hostilities: he clearly blames Hamas.

So Hamas needed a way to end the blockade and secure the release of its prisoners.

Many of us thought Mr. Obama’s diplomacy strategy was simply a device to dodge a decision that force was necessary to ensure the rogue state of Iran would not get its hands on nuclear weapons and thereby pose an existential threat to world peace.

In fact, the two suspects were arrested by Israeli authorities – not, as the Times tried artfully to suggest, by Mr. Abbas’s Palestinian Authority.

Unfortunately, we must deal with some of the practical lessons of this tragedy. The murders did not happen in a vacuum.

It is no secret the president is furious with Republicans in Congress for blocking his efforts to change immigration laws.

The Rebbe was an acknowledged Torah scholar, seminal Torah personality, and one of the most influential Jewish leaders of the 20th century.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/shameful-orthodox-bashing/2002/01/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: