Don't Fund Orthodox, U.S. Jews Told

Article excerpt

Reform and Conservative Jewish leaders January 5 urged their American followers to withhold financial support from Israeli politicians and groups that back Orthodox attempts to retain their religious dominance in Israel. At a New York news conference the Jewish leaders said non-Orthodox American Jews should use their financial resources to counter Orthodox attempts to skirt recent court decisions in Israel that have backed Reform and Conservative Jews.

The call for pocket-book politics was the latest round in an ongoing dispute between Orthodox Jews seeking to maintain their position and Reform and Conservative efforts to gain equal government recognition. "We must use the power of our dollars, as well as the power of our voice, to indicate we will not support candidates for prime minister or the Knesset [parliament] who do not have a sensitivity to the concerns of the American and diaspora Jewish communities," declared Jerome Epstein, executive vice-president of United Synagogues of Conservative Judaism.

Although the Reform and Conservative movements account for the majority of synagogue-affiliated American Jews, Jewish religious life in Israel is dominated by the Orthodox. …

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