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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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B’nai Jeshurun Synagogue Leaders Congratulate Palestine on UN Vote

"The vote at the UN yesterday is a great moment for us as citizens of the world," said the email, signed by the B'nai Jeshurun's three rabbis, cantor, board president and executive director.

B'nai Jeshurun Synagogue (with minor addition).

B'nai Jeshurun Synagogue (with minor addition).
Photo Credit: Yori Yanover

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Remember the outpouring of Arab support when Israel declared its independence, back in 1948? No, you don’t, neither does anyone else. But we can certainly mark the unabashed joy of a New York City Upper West Side synagogue, after the UN hammered another nail in the simple pine box of the Zionist dream.

On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that the leaders of the “Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, a large synagogue on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, known for its charismatic rabbis, its energetic and highly musical worship, and its liberal stances on social causes,” had sent out an email last Friday to congregants, praising the UN vote that elevated the Palestinians to non-member state status.

“The vote at the UN yesterday is a great moment for us as citizens of the world,” said the email, signed by the B’nai Jeshurun’s three rabbis, cantor, board president and executive director. “This is an opportunity to celebrate the process that allows a nation to come forward and ask for recognition. Having gained independence ourselves in this way, we are especially conscious of this.”

Well, this begs for at least a minor correction: “we” did not gain independence in this way. Yes, the UN took a vote and approved a plan to divide the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea into areas that were populated by a majority of Jews and a majority of Arabs (Arab portion was bigger). But that vote didn’t get us our independence. The blood of 6 thousand Jews, fighting off invading Arab armies as well as local Arab terror gangs – that got us our independence.

Allan Ripp, a member, said he and his wife were appalled, the Times reported.

“We are just sort of in a state of shock,” Ripp said. “It’s not as if we don’t support a two-state solution, but to say with such a warm embrace — it is like a high-five to the P.L.O., and that has left us numb.”

But another congregant, Gil Kulick, told the Times he was “really delighted that they chose to take a strong unequivocal stand.”

The synagogue leaders wrote:

“As Jews deeply committed to the security and democracy of Israel, and in light of the violence this past month in Gaza and Israel, we hope that November 29, 2012 will mark the moment that brought about a needed sense of dignity and purpose to the Palestinian people, led to a cessation of violence and hastened the two state solution.”

“It’s very shocking to many of the congregants that this position was taken publicly and this e-mail was sent around,” Eve Birnbaum, a member of the congregation for about 15 years, told the Times, adding: “I am very dismayed, as a longstanding member of the synagogue, that the rabbis and the board would take a position that is contrary to what many members believe, contrary to the peace process.”


RELATED: Cartoon 

Correction: The letter was signed by the board president, not the entire board as the article originally stated.

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About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.

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44 Responses to “B’nai Jeshurun Synagogue Leaders Congratulate Palestine on UN Vote”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Who needs enemies when we have friends like these.

  2. Liad Bar-el says:

    Here is an example of what happens when you live for generations in exile: delusions of grandeur.

  3. Yori Yanover says:

    I'm starting to wonder whether we have two distinct nationa now, one which cares and is involved with Israel, and one which worries mostly about what their gentile neighbors would say about them. Our paths are diverging fast.

  4. Liad Bar-el says:

    Tell the truth, Yori, did you put that PA flag in the picture or was it really in the original photo? :-)

  5. Liad Bar-el says:

    Ahhhhh. I now see that the flag was added for I don't see any leaves blowing and there's no foundation for the flag stand. Anyway, this picture says a thousand words. Good job.

  6. Yori Yanover says:

    It's sticking out of the turret — the foundation is inside the synagogue. How pithy.

  7. Liad Bar-el says:

    Yori Yanover Prior Proper Photo Paint Planning Promotes Profound Pithy Pictures.

  8. Who ever said that that delusion in two – thirds insanity. Well – to be honest insanity has never had a greater friend than the claimed "bnei Jeshurun!" How in appropriate a name for a congregation that is anything but peace – loving, Jew – hatin, – and not to the exclusion of their own self hatred as possible Jews. Take no notice of this community, they're as delusionary as are the West and the Arabs, to the inclusion of those living on Israeli soil in Gaza.

  9. Brian Kent says:

    Complete animals!

  10. Brian Kent says:

    Yori Yanover The Jewish Daily Foreword is truly the most evil anti-Israel publication on the scene.I believe it is funded by Nazi SS collaborator George Soros .It is affiliated with Soros financed J Street and it publishes his thoughts basically .Good piece but rotten news .

  11. Amy Moses says:

    This is a totally photoshopped photo. It's disgusting that this paper would publish it. I am a member of BJ and live near the synagogue and this is TOTALLY FAKE. Shame on Jewish Press!

  12. And they would never imagine that they have so much in common with Neturei Karta!

  13. Benjamin Rau says:

    This is equatable to thanking and praising your own executioner preemptively for killing you….

  14. Charlie Hall says:

    What does the Forward have to do with this?

  15. Charlie Hall says:

    BJ is the oldest Ashkenazic congregration in New York, and one of the oldest in America.

  16. Hamas Charter : "Israel will rise and remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it has eliminated its predecessors." "The time will not come until the Muslims will fight the Jews: until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry:" O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him." (Article 7)…

    Ignorance is bliss, but their Stupidity is lethal.

  17. How would this gesture be repaid by the recipients?

    Maybe a thank you first, then they would slit the throats of every man, woman and child at Bnai Jeshurun.

  18. Dawn Yonah says:

    Who are these so-called Jews? They obviously have no clue who the G-d of Israel is and what He thinks. They are guilty of idol worship… the idol of "ultra-liberalism." They are an embarrassment.

  19. That's why 2,000 years ago our rabbis added the following still-valid passage to The 18 Benedictions: "May there be no hope for traitors."

  20. Gil Gilman says:

    Yori, it goes beyond worries about gentile neighbors, and into "see, we can be just as ignorant as the rest, When we put our little grey cells to work.

  21. Outrageous! And complete betrayl! A total disgrace to our people! These people will shake your hand and with the other stabb you in the back! Faithful are the wounds of a friend but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful! Am Yisrael Torah Chai.

  22. I believe the call that Ezra gave to the Jews in captivity challenging them to return to Jerusalem (Ezra 1v1-11) and rebuild. Today all Jews worldwide need to take up that call and return home. The G-d of Israel will go with you.

  23. Tim Upham says:

    We are not the enemies, if we support the two-state solution. I have endlessly had Jewish extremists call me a Nazi, a Muslim, and tell me every morning I kiss the picture of Hitler. The only thing I want is Israel to be able to live with its neighbors, who happen to be Muslims. Jews can live with Gentiles, because 55% of them within the United States are married to them. I am the product of a mixed marriage, and my parents were married in Hungary.

  24. Jay Saadian says:

    I just hope those members of this synagogue, who disagree w/ their rabbis and are appalled by their actions, would cancel their membership in protest. Let’s see how many would have the courage and the conviction to do that. Please report here so that the rest of us would know.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Reform degenerated into school of future capos.

  26. As usual, the "enlightened" establishment Jews who are in fact secularists, are our own worst enemy. And may receive their just reward but not take the rest of us with them. Jerome S Kaufman.

  27. Alex Shapiro says:

    Hitler was twice nomitated for the Nobel Peace Prize…by Jews. I wonder if they where the ancestors of those who signed on this letter…

  28. Shame on those Jews with short memory. Abbas violated the 1993 Oslo Accord and gets applause. Israel gave away the Sinai and Gaza, and got 800 rockets fired on them and bad press.

  29. Rabbis of Bnei Yeshurun Synagogue, you are Rabbits not Rabbis.instead of keeping your cowardice ideas in a closet

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