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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.”

 

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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. You dare to speak them openly misrepresenting the whole nation? You are bigger enemies of Israel, of Jews than Palestinians.we are ashamed of you and your action

  2. Charlie Hall says:

    Not the first time that a rabbi from B'nai Jeshurun was on the wrong side:

    http://www.jewish-history.com/civilwar/raphall.html

    Note: At that time B'nai Jeshurun was still Orthodox; as an Orthodox Jew myself I'm ashamed to admit that Rabbi Raphall was an Orthodox Rabbi. He even had a Ph.D.

  3. Jacob Alperin-Sheriff says:

    Uh, dude (Shmuel dude) it's also not the Civil War anymore, even though my state still wants to secede

  4. Anastasia Klein says:

    kapos. shameful. I hope the congregants cancel memberships quickly.

  5. Mark Leaman says:

    Will they celebrate when Israel does not exist because the Palestinians kept their promise to destroy Israel G-d forbid.

  6. Raina Steinman says:

    friggin disgusting…… they need to be shipped to philistine with the barbarians…….

  7. Enemies – not; but quite silly and naive. From 1948 (and before..) the neighbors of the State of Israel have never expressed a desire to live in peace with the Jews. In fact they made very explicit statements of their desire to kill the Jews – by going to war in 48, 56, 67, 73, etc… I am not counting their unrelenting terror. I would suggest that the neighbors of the State of Israel learn how to live in peace among themselves first and foremost. And than the time for peace might indeed come. As Rav Kahane, Z"L once said: I hope that the nations of the world one day will beat their swords into the plowshares – but while our enemies have swords – we don't want to have plowshares in our hands.

  8. Ltc Howard says:

    Demand the PA
    1 Explicitly recognize Israel as Jewish state
    2. Explicitly renounce the absolute & nonnegotiable demand for “right of return of all refugees & their descendants {self identified} to the pre-67 boundaries of “Palestine”)Urge that Palestinians living in the camps in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, etc. be offered citizenship in their resident countries Also offer them the option of citizenship in a West Bank Palestinian state. ( PA position is that “refugees” in the camps, even on the West Bank will not be offered citizenship in a new Palestinian state)
    3. Abandon the demand that West Bank, East Jerusalem, and any other Palestinian territory be jew-free

  9. Paul Burlant says:

    Jews have no need for outside anti-Semites we have our own self hating Jews.

  10. B'nai Jeshurun is nothing but a bunch of idiots.

  11. B'nai Jeshurun is nothing but a bunch of idiots.

  12. Tim Upham says:

    In the last military operation in Gaza 20 Palestinians were killed for every one 1 Israeli. It does not sound like every single Palestinian has a sword in their hand. A great deal of them have plowshares in them. That is the reason why for Hanukkah, I am using olive oil produced by them, to do my deep frying cooking. Because after all, we are the Children of Abraham. Would you like it if you had two children fight all of the time? I know HaShem does not like it. Allah does not command them to kill Jews either.

  13. One word: *ANIMALS*!

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