Another three weeks of activity achieved a number of new milestones, primarily in the way the media and others respond to our press releases and statements.
We found our first tentative mentions in the secular press: the Newburgh (IL) Gazette quoted our response to the ADL’s so-called “Alt Lite” list of political conservatives it attempted to associate with white supremacists, and the Religion News Service published our statement on how Orthodox Jews see Evangelicals. In addition, Rabbi Dov Fischer’s Op-Ed on continued support for President Trump, published on American Greatness, was then picked up by the very popular and prestigious Real Clear Politics website. I also had a letter to the editor appear in the Washington Post.
Within the Jewish world, we were mentioned nearly a dozen times: the Jewish News Service, Israel National News (Arutz-7), The Algemeiner, Matzav.com, Monsey.com, and Yated Ne’eman all ran our releases. More than this, however, the JNS used us as a news source in an analysis article on the controversy at the Western Wall.
In our press release about the Western Wall (“Rabbis Condemn Reform and Conservative Movements for Dividing World Jewry,” July 16), we pointed out that Anat Hoffman, Director of Women of the Wall and the Israel Religious Action Center of the Reform movement, had filmed a video in which she dishonestly misportrayed a small section of the “egalitarian” Ezrat Yisrael area as if it were that platform in its entirety. The JNS verified and published this factual statement, in addition to quoting our reaction. The result was perhaps one of the most openly critical articles about the efforts of American liberal movements to change Jewish practice at the Kotel to yet appear in American secular Jewish media.
On August 9, we issued a statement about how Evangelical Christians are perceived by the Orthodox community. Earlier this year, the prestigious Pew Research Center reported the results of its survey regarding how different American religious groups perceive each other. As described in the Washington Post, the report determined that “white evangelicals rate Jews more positively than any other non-Christian religious group, but Jews rate white evangelicals least positively among Christian groups.” The Washington Post used this in an article about support from Evangelicals for Jared Kushner, described by one as their “key liason” with the White House.
This apparent lack of “reciprocity” has a clear negative impact. One evangelical leader told me privately that he is frequently challenged by others saying something along the lines of, “How can you spend so much time and energy supporting the Jews and Israel, while they work against us on the issues of importance to us?”
Especially given that Kushner is himself an Orthodox Jew, it was important to correct the record. Orthodox Jews appreciate Evangelical advocacy, both for Israel and for traditional values sourced in our Torah. Our statement, published just two days ago, has already created ripples among pro-Israel Christian organizations.
Our recent Press Releases:
Rabbis Support Israeli Government on Adoption Criteria, Jul 24
Israel’s Rejection of BDS Activists “Entirely Justified,” Rabbis Say, Jul 25
An Apology is Not Enough — Rabbis Back Rep. Brad Sherman’s Call for Shahin Termination, Jul 31
Pew wrong: Orthodox Jews esteem Evangelicals, Aug 9
My Letter to the Editor, and our Op-Eds:
There is no Israeli ‘Blacklist’ of Rabbis, Rabbi Yaakov Menken, Jul 21
Fake News – Real Terror, Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, Jul 24
Polls Don’t Tell the Tale—Trump’s Support is Deep. Here’s Why…, Rabbi Dov Fischer, Jul 27
Making the Case for the Chief Rabbinate, Rabbi Menachem Levine, Jul 30
So we have been busy indeed!
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