Reaching and mobilizing the Orthodox community is key to our efforts — and we are pleased to report significant steps towards that objective. Mishpacha and Ami, the two weekly glossy magazines serving the chareidi (traditional) Orthodox community, both provided prominent descriptions of the CJV and its importance to their readers within the past two weeks. Both are read far beyond the charedi community, and are distributed in North America, Israel and Europe.
Mishpacha’s editorial regarding the CJV, found in the Aug. 22 issue, is called “Will the Real Judaism Stand Up?” Written by Editor in Chief Rabbi Moshe Grylak, it is the first opinion column at the front of the magazine. Rabbi Grylak believes that the CJV has a “bright future ahead,” and “its service to the Jewish People will prove invaluable.”
Ami ran a full-length feature one week later, a nine-page spread called “Taking the Gloves Off: After a year and a half of fighting for Jewish values in the public sphere, the Coalition for Jewish Values is surveying the battlefield.” This article is so exceptional (and well-written) that I have enclosed a PDF for your reading pleasure. On first reading I wondered whether it should bother us to be described as possibly “too aggressive,” much less “abrasive.” But we must admit that this has a grain of truth. When you state the truth clearly, feathers will be ruffled. And we are stating the truth clearly!
Please Note: Our next conference call will feature Jonathan Neumann, author of To Heal the World? How the Jewish Left Corrupts Judaism and Endangers Israel. His (outstanding) book thoroughly dismantles the idea that the social justice movement has its roots in Judaism, and is excellent for anyone who wishes to understand the distortion of Jewish values found under the mantle of “Tikkun Olam,” and how far that is from actual Judaism. The call will be Wednesday, Sep. 5 at 2 pm US EDT. We gave priority access to our supporters and rabbinic guests, but seats still remain if you sign up now. Please RSVP now if you would like to join in this call!
This would be a great time to become our supporter, to further the important work of the Coalition for Jewish Values and gain priority access to future events.
Letters and Statements:
To understand the range of our recent activities, I think it best to look at four letters we wrote this month:
‘Illegal’ Missing From Rabbi’s Essay, July 18
This letter (to the editor), by CJV Vice President Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, refuted the claim that according to the Torah, “immigrants are [universally] to be given the same legal protections as citizens.” As the title suggests, Rabbi Schonfeld pointed out that welcoming “the stranger” is in no way lessened by enforcing the law where illegal immigration is concerned. Rebutting the idea that “Judaism” supports Tikkun Olam social justice politics is, of course, central to our mission.
Title X provides funding for family planning and related health services. By law, Federal funds are not supposed to be used to provide abortions, but the current regulations (dating to the Clinton era) fudge the boundaries: they permit funding to be spent on anything short of abortions themselves, and even require grantees to provide referrals to abortion providers. The new changes would reverse this situation, requiring that service providers receiving Title X funding be truly separate from abortion clinics. This would direct funding towards health care providers offering a full range of true family planning services. Under the new regulations, counselors will also be required to look for and report signs of suspected abuse, to protect minor children — protections missing under current guidelines.
We were, to our knowledge, the only prominent Jewish organization to comment in favor of the proposed revision to the regulations.
As per the accompanying press release below, we reached out to the Jewish Federations of North America after seeing the program for its upcoming General Assembly in Israel. While the Federations acknowledge the opinion gap between Israeli and American Jews, and thus entitle their GA “We Need To Talk,” the program seems to talk down to Israeli Jews. The charedi population is seen as something to be “integrated” rather than a resource for Jewish life. “Religious pluralism” is discussed as a business endeavor to be achieved via “market forces” (which sounds awfully like using American money to finance religious coercion). And most important of all, there is no discussion of how Israelis, experiencing growth in religious faith and observance, might help Americans, where the intermarriage rate outside the Orthodox community now exceeds 70%. How could the Federations go to Israel and refrain from addressing the most critical issue facing American Jews — especially given the much better track record in Israel and plethora of Israeli resources?
Although Mr. Silverman acknowledged receipt of our letter and promised a reply roughly one month ago, we are still waiting.
Finally, we reached out to Christians United for Israel, both in the US and the UK, to commend them for their petition drive calling upon the UK Labour Party to acknowledge that there is a serious problem of anti-Semitism within that party, and it must accept the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism, including anti-Israel rhetoric entirely too common among Labour members and officials. CUFI “stretches their necks out” to support Israel and the Jewish community as part of their mission, and receive too little thanks from our community for their efforts. We are glad to do our part.
US Rabbinic Group Supports Letter of 200 Rabbis Favoring Biblical Values, Aug. 2
[As part of this effort, we also provided a translation of the rabbis’ statement, as well as the later statement by 75 women, “Rebbetzins, educators and Torah lecturers,” in favor of traditional moral standards.]
UCLA Disrupters Follow Pattern of Nazi SA, Says Rabbinic Group, Aug. 6
Rabbinic Group Commends Christians United for Israel for UK Solidarity Declaration, Aug. 16
Will American Jews Listen to Israelis About Israel?, Aug. 23
The Jewish State
Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, July 20
Let them walk out of Birthright and say Kaddish for Arab terrorists
Rabbi Dov Fischer in Israel National News, July 22
There’s No Business Like Shoah Business
Rabbi Dov Fischer in The American Spectator, July 24
No Apologies Necessary
Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer in Times of Israel, July 25
As the Swamp Turns
Rabbi Dov Fischer in The American Spectator, July 26
Pushback on LGBT
Rabbi Steven Pruzansky in Israel National News, July 31
On Learning to Root for A-Rod and Manafort
Rabbi Dov Fischer in The American Spectator, Aug. 8
Open Orthodoxy’s Superstar Clergyman and His Long Trail of Destruction
Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer in Yated Ne’eman, Aug. 8
Charlottesville and Masked Antifa, Omarosi, Brennan, Cuomo, Hillary — and Enemies of the People
Rabbi Dov Fischer in The American Spectator, Aug. 19
The Nation-State Law Is Not the Problem
Rabbi Yaakov Menken in Times of Israel, Aug. 20
Second Thoughts on ‘Racism’ at Barkan or Badatz
Rabbi Yaakov Menken in Times of Israel, Aug. 26
It has been a productive six weeks since our last update, despite the August recess in Washington and summer slowdown in much of the country. We certainly anticipate being quite busy after the approaching holidays!
To all of our readers, L’Shana Tova — a good and happy New Year filled with blessings in all areas.